Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A subordinate or supplementary item; an adjunct.
  • n. Something nonessential but desirable that contributes to an effect or result. See Synonyms at appendage.
  • n. Law One who incites, aids, or abets a lawbreaker in the commission of a crime but is not present at the time of the crime. Also called accessory before the fact.
  • n. Law One who aids a criminal after the commission of a crime, but was not present at the time of the crime. Also called accessory after the fact.
  • adj. Having a secondary, supplementary, or subordinate function.
  • adj. Law Serving to aid or abet a lawbreaker, either before or after the commission of the crime, without being present at the time the crime was committed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a secondary, supplementary or subordinate function by accompanying as a subordinate; aiding in a secondary way; being additional; being connected as an incident or subordinate to a principal; contributing or being contributory. Said of persons and things, and, when of persons, usually in a bad sense; as, he was accessory to the riot; accessory sounds in music.
  • adj. Assisting a crime without actually participating in committing the crime itself.
  • adj. Present in a minor amount, and not essential.
  • n. That which belongs to something else deemed the principal; something additional and subordinate, an attachment.
  • n. An article that completes one's basic outfit, such as a scarf or gloves.
  • n. One who, not being present, contributes as an assistant or instigator to the commission of an offense; One who assists after the commission of a crime, but was not present.
  • n. Anything that enters into a work of art without being indispensably necessary, as mere ornamental parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Accompanying as a subordinate; aiding in a secondary way; additional; connected as an incident or subordinate to a principal; contributing or contributory; said of persons and things, and, when of persons, usually in a bad sense
  • n. That which belongs to something else deemed the principal; something additional and subordinate.
  • n. Same as Accessary, n.
  • n. Anything that enters into a work of art without being indispensably necessary, as mere ornamental parts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • (Of persons.) Acceding; contributing; aiding in producing some effect, or acting in subordination to the principal agent: usually in a bad sense: as, accessory to a felony. Technically, in law, it implies aiding without being present at the act.
  • (Of things.) Contributing to a general effect; aiding in certain acts or effects in a secondary manner; belonging to something else as principal; accompanying: as, accessory sounds in music; accessory muscles. Additional, or of the nature of an appendage: as, accessory buds are developed by the side of or above the normal axillary bud.
  • n. In law, one who is guilty of a felony, not by committing the offense in person or as a principal, nor by being present at its commission, but by being in some other way concerned therein, as by advising or inciting another to commit the crime, or by concealing the offender or in any way helping him to escape punishment.
  • n. That which accedes or belongs to something else as its principal; a subordinate part or object; an accompaniment.
  • n. In the fine arts, an object represented which is not a main motive or center of interest, but is introduced to balance the composition or in some way enhance its artistic effectiveness.
  • n. Synonyms Abetter, accomplice. See the definitions of these words.
  • In the logical system of Lotze, adding (as thought) to the coherence of the matter of thought a notion of the ground of its coherence. See the extract.
  • In geology, noting those minerals which are present in relatively small quantities in a rock and are not mentioned in its definition, such as zircon, apatite, and magnetite in granite: contrasted with essential.
  • n. In organ-building, same as accessory stop.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. aiding and abetting in a crime
  • n. someone who helps another person commit a crime
  • adj. furnishing added support
  • n. clothing that is worn or carried, but not part of your main clothing
  • n. a supplementary component that improves capability

Etymologies

Middle English accessorie, from Medieval Latin accessōrius, from accessor, helper, from Latin accessus, approach; see access.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.