Mistake vs Incident - What's the difference?

mistake | incident |

As nouns the difference between mistake and incident

is that mistake is an error; a blunder while incident is an event or occurrence.

As a verb mistake

is to understand wrongly, taking one thing for another, or someone for someone else.

As an adjective incident is

arising as the result of an event, inherent.




(en noun)
  • An error; a blunder.
  • * 1877 , Henry Heth, quoting , in "Causes of the Defeat of Gen. Lee's Army at the Battle of GettysburgOpinions of Leading Confederate Soldiers.", Southern Historical Society Papers (1877), editor Rev. J. WM. Jones [http://books.google.com/books?id=iDIFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA292&dq=lee+%22mistakes+were+made%22&hl=en&ei=fchaTbu4L8L98AaVs4n-DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=lee%20%22mistakes%20were%20made%22&f=false]
  • After it is all over, as stupid a fellow as I am can see that mistakes' were made. I notice, however, that my ' mistakes are never told me until it is too late.
  • (baseball) A pitch which was intended to be pitched in a hard to hit location, but instead ends up in an easy to hit place
  • Synonyms

    * See also

    Usage notes

    * Usually make a mistake. See


  • To understand wrongly, taking one thing for another, or someone for someone else.
  • Sorry, I mistook you for my brother. You look very similar.
  • * Shakespeare
  • My father's purposes have been mistook .
  • * Johnson
  • A man may mistake the love of virtue for the practice of it.
  • To commit an unintentional error; to do or think something wrong.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • Servants mistake , and sometimes occasion misunderstanding among friends.
  • (obsolete, rare) To take or choose wrongly.
  • (Shakespeare)

    Derived terms

    * mistakeless




    (en noun)
  • An event or occurrence.
  • A relatively minor event that is incidental to, or related to others
  • An event that may cause or causes an interruption or a crisis
  • In safety, an incident of workplace illness or injury
  • Derived terms

    * incidental * aviation incident * coincident * incident room


  • Arising as the result of an event, inherent
  • (physics) (of a stream of particles or radiation ) falling on or striking a surface (e.g. "The incident light illuminated the surface.")
  • Coming or happening accidentally; not in the usual course of things; not in connection with the main design; not according to expectation; casual; fortuitous.
  • * Hooker
  • As the ordinary course of common affairs is disposed of by general laws, so likewise men's rarer incident necessities and utilities should be with special equity considered.
  • Liable to happen; apt to occur; befalling; hence, naturally happening or appertaining.
  • * Milton
  • all chances incident to man's frail life
  • * Milward
  • the studies incident to his profession
  • (legal) Dependent upon, or appertaining to, another thing, called the principal.