Definition of accessory in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əkˈsɛs(ə)ri/

noun (plural accessories)

1A thing which can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive: optional accessories include a battery charger and shoulder strap
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, retrofit, adjunct, appendage, appurtenance, (additional) component, fitment, supplement
1.1A small article or item of clothing carried or worn to complement a garment or outfit: she wore the suit with perfectly matching accessories—hat, bag, shoes
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, finery, trimming, ornament, ornamentation, decoration, complement, fashion detail, frill;
handbag, shoes, gloves, hat, belt, jewellery
2 (also accessary) Law Someone who gives assistance to the perpetrator of a crime without taking part in it: 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, abetter, associate, confederate, collaborator, fellow conspirator, henchman, conniver


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, supportive, assisting, reserve, complementary, further, more, add-on


accessory before (or after) the fact

Law , dated A person who incites or assists someone to commit an arrestable offence (or knowingly aids someone who has committed such an offence).
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.



Pronunciation: /aksɛˈsɔːrɪəl/
adjective (chiefly Law )
Example sentences
  • To seek to distinguish pre-planned violence from spontaneous violence will give rise to inane discussions as to the relative meanings of spontaneous and pre-planned which are irrelevant to the question of accessorial liability.
  • They could be patrimonial things or extra-patrimonial things; common things or sacred things; principal things or accessorial things; corporeal things or incorporeal things.
  • The Law Commission should return to this subject as a matter of urgency, and should recommend one of these radical approaches to accessorial criminal liability.


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

Line breaks: ac¦ces|sory

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.