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Difference between Accident, Incident and Mishap

Accident refers to an unforeseen event (good or bad).

  • George’s call about the job opening was just a lucky accident.
  • A flawed design contributed to the Chernobyl accident.

Incident refers to a minor or simple occurrence (good or bad).

  • The entire incident was recorded on video.

Mishap refers to a minor unfortunate occurrence.

  • Though no one was hurt, a mishap occurred during the parade.