• Having a secondary, supplementary or subordinate function by accompanying as a subordinate; aiding in a secondary way; being additional; contributing or being contributory. Said of things and actions, very rarely of people (and then usually in a humorous version of the legal sense [or due to confusion between the noun and the adjective]).
  • Assisting a crime without actually participating in committing the crime itself; being connected as an incident or subordinate to a principal.
  • Present in a minor amount, and not essential.


  • Something that belongs to part of another main thing; something additional and subordinate, an attachment.
  • An article that completes one's basic outfit, such as a scarf or gloves.
  • A person who is not present at a crime, but contributes to it as an assistant or instigator.
  • Something in a work of art without being indispensably necessary, for example solely ornamental parts.


Similar words


  • First attested in 1550s. From Middle English accessorie, from Medieval Latin accessōrius, from Latin accessor, from accessus. Compare access, from same root.
  • First attested in 1414.
  • First attested in 1896.

Modern English dictionary

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