Definition of accessory in English:

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Pronunciation: /əkˈses(ə)rē/
(also accessary)

noun (plural accessories)

1A thing that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive: a range of bathroom accessories
More example sentences
  • It also offers a very broad range of accessories including batteries, headsets, add-ons and clip-ons.
  • They can then add optional extras and accessories to their car.
  • To motorists, it's a useful accessory that allows them to talk without driving off the road.
attachment, extra, addition, add-on, adjunct, appendage, appurtenance, fitment, supplement
1.1A small article or item of clothing carried or worn to complement a garment or outfit: among the hottest items are hair accessories such as rhinestone-studded barrettes
More example sentences
  • Do they also carry bridal accessories, like hair decorations, veils and shoes?
  • These will be used by consumers to store favourite special garments, footwear and accessories.
  • Money cannot buy style, but it can buy you the following chic garments and accessories.
adornment, embellishment, ornament, ornamentation, decoration;
frills, trimmings
2 Law Someone who gives assistance to the perpetrator of a crime, without directly committing it, sometimes without being present: she was charged as an accessory to murder
More example sentences
  • And should she thus be punished in the same way as the actual murderers, as an accessory to the crime?
  • He said paying compensation for vehicles with varying declared value for duty at ZRA and the insured value would render the corporation an accessory to the crime of tax evasion.
  • At the very least their actions make them an accessory to crime.
accomplice, partner in crime, associate, collaborator, abettor, co-conspirator, fellow conspirator;


[attributive] chiefly technical
Contributing to or aiding an activity or process in a minor way; subsidiary or supplementary: functionally the maxillae are a pair of accessory jaws
More example sentences
  • The ability of DNA polymerases to replicate DNA requires a number of additional accessory proteins.
  • It later appears as the hyomandibular, an accessory jaw element.
  • The integument is composed of the skin, which covers the entire body, in addition to accessory organs derived from skin.
additional, extra, supplementary, supplemental, auxiliary, ancillary, secondary, subsidiary, reserve, add-on


accessory before (or after) the fact

Law , dated A person who incites or assists someone to commit a crime (or knowingly aids someone who has committed a crime).
Example sentences
  • Well, he is liable, as was pointed out, to a number of other offences: accessory after the fact, destroying a motor car, theft of a motor car and various others - you could throw the book at him for the other offences.
  • He said: ‘A wife could not be convicted of being an accessory after the fact for a felony committed by her husband.’
  • One was, firstly, whether the offender or the accused was indeed a primary offender; secondly, whether he was guilty of being an accessory after the fact.


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin accessorius 'additional thing', from Latin access- 'increased', from the verb accedere (see accede).

Words that rhyme with accessory

intercessory, pessary, possessory, tesserae

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ac·ces·so·ry

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