ac·​cess | \ ˈak-ˌses How to pronounce access (audio) also ik-ˈses How to pronounce access (audio) \

Definition of access

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : permission, liberty, or ability to enter, approach, or pass to and from a place or to approach or communicate with a person or thing Investigators wanted to get access to his home. consultants who have easy access to the president
b : freedom or ability to obtain or make use of something paying for access to the Internet
c : a way or means of entering or approaching A canal provides access to the river. a building that provides wheelchair access [=a way for people in wheelchairs to enter]
d : the act or an instance of accessing something
2a : onset sense 2 an access of illness
b : a fit of intense feeling : outburst If it had been in Tito's nature to feel an access of rage, he would have felt it against this bull-faced accomplice.— George Eliot
3 : an increase by addition a sudden access of wealth


accessed; accessing; accesses

Definition of access (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to get at : to gain access to: such as
a : to be able to use, enter, or get near (something) accessed the computer by phone a system that makes it easier to access the money in your bank account
b : to open or load (a computer file, an Internet site, etc.) a file that can be accessed by many users at the same time

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Synonyms & Antonyms for access

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of access in a Sentence

Noun We have Internet access at the library. a sudden access of hay fever was making him feel miserable Verb The new system makes it easier to access the money in your bank account. Your favorite radio stations can be accessed at the touch of a button. The file loads every time you access the website. The file can be accessed by many users at the same time. She could work at home by remotely accessing the company's network. You'll need a password to access the database. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun First, there’s the process, which starts with a trip to Apple’s Digital Legacy access page. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 Huawei has been suspected of installing backdoors in its products that would grant the company unauthorized access to data. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 20 May 2022 Signs warning about unauthorized access are prominent in agency buildings. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 20 May 2022 The facilities that are open reflect an effort to provide equitable access across the county, Smith said. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 May 2022 Other factors, like location, number of bedrooms, access to good restaurants, price and a fenced yard for the dogs, were. Marni Jameson, Orlando Sentinel, 20 May 2022 In addition to the grants, Berke said tribes will receive support from NTIA through webinars, technical assistance and by having access to a planning toolkit. Lauren J. Mappstaff Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 May 2022 Challenges exist with getting users full access to news on Wikipedia, too. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, 20 May 2022 Staff records for which an unauthorized party gained access included name, school employee ID number and CPS email address, the district said. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 20 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Read newspapers, magazines, listen to music and watch movies with a free eCard that can be used to access a wide variety of eContent from a computer or mobile device. Cindy Kent, Sun Sentinel, 20 May 2022 There's also a fingerprint-recognition pad, which can be used to access personalized preferences. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 16 May 2022 Other nurses and nursing experts have told KHN that overrides are routinely used in many hospitals to access medication quickly. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, 13 May 2022 Other nurses and nursing experts have told KHN that overrides are routinely used in many hospitals to access medication quickly. Brett Kelman,, 13 May 2022 The boat landings used to access the lake were not envisioned for a drought of this magnitude. Nick Bowlin, Outside Online, 4 May 2022 Currently, the program can benefit any family of four making up to $83,250 per year; expanding it would allow a family of four making up to $138,750 to access the funds. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2022 The Clinton campaign and DNC are asserting privilege over communications between Fusion and Rodney Joffe, a tech executive, who the Durham team says used his position to access nonpublic internet data to produce allegations against Mr. Trump. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2022 Among other things, Hastings confirmed Netflix will start crack down on the sharing of subscriber passwords that has enabled multiple households to access its service from a single account, with changes likely to roll out during the next year or so. Michael Liedtke, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'access.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of access


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1953, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for access


Middle English, "entrance, approach, attack of illness, fever, lovesickness," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French acces "attack of illness," (Old French also "liberty to approach"), borrowed from Latin accessus "approach, means of entry, right of approach, onset (of fever or illness)," action noun derived from accēdere "to approach" — more at accede


derivative of access entry 1

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Time Traveler for access

Time Traveler

The first known use of access was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near access

accept the fact that


access clerk

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Statistics for access

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Access.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for access


ac·​cess | \ ˈak-ˌses How to pronounce access (audio) \

Kids Definition of access

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the right or ability to approach, enter, or use Only a few have access to the secret information.
2 : a way or means of approaching access to the sea


accessed; accessing

Kids Definition of access (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get at : get access to "He's in the computer. We just can't access his records."— Louis Sachar, Holes


noun, often attributive
ac·​cess | \ ˈak-ˌses How to pronounce access (audio) \

Legal Definition of access

1 : permission, liberty, or ability to enter, approach, communicate with, or pass to and from a place, thing, or person public access to federal land access to the courts
2 : opportunity for sexual intercourse
3 : a landowner's legal right to pass from his or her land to a highway and to return without being obstructed
4 : freedom or ability to obtain, make use of, or participate in something the right to equal treatment holds with respect to a limited set of interests — like voting — and demands that every person have the same access to these interests— L. H. Tribe
5a : a way by which a thing or place may be approached or reached
b : passage to and from a place provide a means of access to the land
6 : opportunity to view or copy a copyrighted work

More from Merriam-Webster on access

Nglish: Translation of access for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of access for Arabic Speakers


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