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ac·​cess ˈak-ˌses How to pronounce access (audio)
ik-ˈses How to pronounce access (audio)
: 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
: freedom or ability to obtain or make use of something
paying for access to the Internet
: 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]
: the act or an instance of accessing something
: onset sense 2
an access of illness
: 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
: an increase by addition
a sudden access of wealth


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accessed; accessing; accesses

transitive verb

: to get at : to gain access to: such as
: 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
: to open or load (a computer file, an Internet site, etc.)
a file that can be accessed by many users at the same time

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
Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access. Martin Indyk, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The challenge is managing access to specific or sensitive information and ensuring the data that is used to train the generative AI model is valid and accurate. Tony Bradley, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 Investigators were able to collect a fingerprint from the bathroom window frame, suggesting someone gained access to Gansau’s apartment through the window. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 20 Feb. 2024 In addition to be named as an Autism-friendly vacation town by Champion Autism Network, Surfside is also home to 36 access points across two miles of pristine coastline that are cleaned daily and monitored by lifeguards. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 20 Feb. 2024 According to the documents, many students of color and low-income status did not have access to the digital tools necessary for online learning. Angela Rodriguez, Sacramento Bee, 20 Feb. 2024 And only 22 of 44 counties have access to any practicing obstetricians, the report said. Angela Palermo, Idaho Statesman, 20 Feb. 2024 The origins of the case date back more than 40 years, when Ed Sanders — the author, poet, and founding member of the Fugs — was researching a biography of the Eagles and was given access to their archives, including the lyric notes. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 19 Feb. 2024 Homeowners and landlords will also have access to Zillow Applications for the tenant screening process and Zillow Payments for online rent collection, which are both available at no cost. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2024
Giordano's is one of several pizzerias serving up the local delicacy and has 65 locations spread across the country, but the one in central Chicago is the easiest to access. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, 21 Feb. 2024 Unsurprisingly, entrepreneurs of color, who face challenges accessing funding in the best of markets, have been disproportionately affected. Carolina Martinez, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 20 Feb. 2024 The Pentagon is reportedly building its own LLMs based on proprietary data and may also be considering using LLMs as an interface to let officers access intelligence reports and advice from other kinds of AI systems more easily through natural language. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 20 Feb. 2024 Relatively few brands manufacture their own clothing, usually to save money by using existing manufacturers overseas or to access production capabilities that would be too costly or inefficient to build in-house. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 20 Feb. 2024 While streaming services like Netflix, Max and Prime Video all now serve ads to subscribers, most consumers first turn on their smart TV, Roku or Apple TV to access the apps, making the TV OS extremely valuable real estate. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2024 Over the next month, the public can access library resources and passport services at the Civic Center and South Chula Vista Library branches. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Feb. 2024 Lastly, the company is launching a new Gemini Advanced subscription tier as part of Google One that will let users finally access the most advanced Gemini model, Ultra 1.0. Sage Lazzaro, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'access.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


1953, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near access

Cite this Entry

“Access.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ac·​cess ˈak-ˌses How to pronounce access (audio)
: permission or power to enter, approach, or make use of
access to secret information
Internet access
: a way or means of approach
a nation's access to the sea


2 of 2 verb
: to get at : gain access to

Legal Definition


ac·​cess ˈak-ˌses How to pronounce access (audio)
often attributive
: 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
: opportunity for sexual intercourse
: a landowner's legal right to pass from his or her land to a highway and to return without being obstructed
: 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 interestsL. H. Tribe
: a way by which a thing or place may be approached or reached
: passage to and from a place
provide a means of access to the land
: opportunity to view or copy a copyrighted work

More from Merriam-Webster on access

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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