- the rudiments or essentials of a subject.
- the study of inflection as a grammatical device.
- the inflections so studied.
- inflectional morphology; the part of grammar concerned with changes in the form of words by internal modification or by affixation, for the expression of tense, person, case, number, etc
late 14c., in philosophy, “non-essential or incidental characteristic,” also “part of grammar dealing with inflection” (mid-15c.), in some cases a misspelling of accidents, or else directly from Latin accidentia (used as a term in grammar by Quintilian), neuter plural of accidens, present participle of accidere (see accident). The grammar sense is because they change in accordance with use.