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incidental


Promise me—incidental to the issue—Anglo-Saxon—dirty word—Childe Roland.
Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  something of less importance than something else
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incidental incidentals
Notes:
Less common and more specialized senses:

Business:  (in plural form only — incidentals)  an expense not budgeted or not specified

Music:  (incidental music)  music in a play, television program, radio program, video game or some other form not primarily musical. The term is less frequently applied to film music, with such music being referred to instead as the "film score" or "soundtrack".
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Samples:
  • Promise me—incidental to the issue—Anglo-Saxon—dirty word—Childe Roland.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • Many of the professors used the Socratic method—direct, repetitive, and adversarial questioning—which had the incidental effect of humiliating unprepared students.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • Sky noises and the abrupt light told her details of careers, incidental wisdom, allowing her to risk everything because the thunder would warn her along with the snake of lighming.
    Michael Ondaatje  --  Running in the Family
  • Spearheaded by visionary architects such as William Le Baron Jenney, Louis Sullivan, H.H. Richardson, Daniel Burnham, and John Root, the new architecture stripped away incidental ornamentation.
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire

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  • As a person who lives near the beach, it made a lot of sense to me: These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living.
    Bethany Hamilton  --  Soul Surfer
  • He also contributed $ iso for the trip for gas, food, and incidental expenses.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • (That it was criminal was incidental to my moral shock.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • To them I was incidental, their kindness to me casual and minor; I’m sure they didn’t give it a second thought, or have any idea of what it meant.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye
  • Their conflict, however, reaches far beyond any incidental armed clashes.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • "Did I?" she replied, in an incidental and forgetful way.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations

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  • Also, this has helped me to get something I wanted from Hopton Stoddard, but that’s only a minor side-issue, an incidental, just pure gravy.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • We know that the bitter drops, which even you have drained from the cup, are no incidental aggravations, no individual ills, but such as must mingle always and necessarily in the lot of every slave.
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • An incidental allusion, purposely thrown out, to the day of the week, and the day of the month, set him thinking and counting, and evidently made him uneasy.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • Multiply these cases by a thousand, and you will see what the preliminary or incidental work was like.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • He also composed music for children, incidental music for radio plays, and more film scores.
    Wladyslaw Szpilman  --  The Pianist
  • The wanderings to the bedrooms, the payments, were so soft and casual they seemed incidental.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • Hence, in the English, this thing of whaling good cheer is not normal and natural, but incidental and particular; and, therefore, must have some special origin, which is here pointed out, and will be still further elucidated.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • The Jew wiped his forehead: and smiled, as if it were a relief to have the disturbance over; but neither he, nor Sikes, nor the dog, nor the boys, seemed to consider it in any other light than a common occurance incidental to business.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • The shoes were an incidental touch.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • Still—so many of the important times in life begin by seeming incidental.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • Clothing and some incidental expenses within the same dates, though little can be inferred from this item, amounted to $ 8.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • They’ve also sent some incidental things—jewelry for the Lady Jessica, spice liquor, candy, medicinals.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • A king and a prince at last in death, with incidental music.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Elaine, who had never been more than an incidental part of the muddle, had achieved a peace of her own.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • There was a note on the programme, saying that the ’incidental music’ would be from the opera ’Traviata,’ which was made from the same story as the play.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • "For incidentals," Lola had said as she pressed it into my hand.
    Sarah Dessen  --  This Lullaby
  • Dr. Korb read about Cedric in the Wall Street Journal story and has paid for periodic tutoring and incidentals, mostly books and some school clothes.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • ’My dear Copperfield,’ said Mr. Micawber, ’yourself and Mr. Traddles find us on the brink of migration, and will excuse any little discomforts incidental to that position.’
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • Such might be his constitution; and as she knew that eating and drinking were often the cure of such incidental complaints, she recommended his taking some refreshment; he would find abundance of every thing in the dining-room—and she humanely pointed out the door.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • Yet, singularly enough, there is an incidental reference to this very subject in what I am now about to say to you.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • But consider the waste in time and energy incidental to making ten thousand varieties of a thing for purposes of ostentation and snobbishness, where one variety would do for use!
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • But comeliness was an incidental matter.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Strength in What Remains
  • Murray seemed engrossed in the incidental mesh.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • OF WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE WITH DONA RODRIGUEZ, THE DUCHESS’S DUENNA, TOGETHER WITH OTHER OCCURRENCES WORTHY OF RECORD AND ETERNAL REMEMBRANCE Exceedingly moody and dejected was the sorely wounded Don Quixote, with his face bandaged and marked, not by the hand of God, but by the claws of a cat, mishaps incidental to knight-errantry.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • But for that ending a quite different anxiety arose, a new, incidental, but yet fatal and insoluble difficulty presented itself.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • "Krook’s last lodger died there," observes Mr. Guppy in an incidental way.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • Having said that, however, I do not mind confessing today - and I see nothing to be ashamed of in this that I did at times gain a sort of incidental enjoyment from these stories.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • Is action merely the incidental product of thought, or is thought the consequential product of action?
    Haruki Murakami  --  After Dark
  • If incidental parts look worn or damaged or loose this is the time to note it so that you can make all your parts purchases at the same time.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • It was quite easy to say, "Because George Emerson has been bothering me, and if he hears I’ve given up Cecil may begin again"—quite easy, and it had the incidental advantage of being true.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • His contributions are incidental, and never fully his own: a stairwell, a skylight, a corridor, an air-conditioning duct.
    Jhumpa Lahiri  --  The Namesake
  • He preferred waiting for the incidental disclosure which events must soon bring about.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • Only they said the woman was incidental, the driver was the target.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • —of pallid haughtiness, say, or rather an austere reserve about him, which had positively awed me into my tame compliance with his eccentricities, when I had feared to ask him to do the slightest incidental thing for me, even though I might know, from his long-continued motionlessness, that behind his screen he must be standing in one of those dead-wall reveries of his.
    Herman Melville  --  Bartleby, the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street
  • On these occasions, a human audience was welcome, but entirely incidental.
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • "Don’t make it what it wasn’t" You are incidental, Doctor.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Identity
  • The betrayed husband, who had figured till that time as a pitiful creature, an incidental and somewhat ludicrous obstacle to his happiness, had suddenly been summoned by her herself, elevated to an awe-inspiring pinnacle, and on the pinnacle that husband had shown himself, not malignant, not false, not ludicrous, but kind and straightforward and large.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • The privileges affected by these classifications included visits and letters, studies, and the opportunity to buy groceries and incidentals—all of which are the lifeblood of any prisoner.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • They are ever content to build their lives on any incidental position that offers itself; whilst men would fain make a globe to suit them.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • It is a great though incidental advantage that the materials from the heart of the Hill Difficulty have been employed in filling up the Valley of Humiliation, thus obviating the necessity of descending into that disagreeable and unwholesome hollow.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Celestial Railroad
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Associated words [difficulty]:   incidental [4]
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