ac·​ces·​sion | \ ik-ˈse-shən How to pronounce accession (audio) , ak-\

Definition of accession

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act or process by which someone rises to a position of honor or power the accession of a new queen a politician's accession to power Queen Victoria's accession to the throne/crown occurred in 1837.
b : an act of coming near or to something : approach, admittance
2 : something added : acquisition the museum's latest accessions
3a : increase by something added
b : acquisition of additional property (as by growth or increase of existing property)
4 : the act of assenting or agreeing
5a : the act of becoming joined : adherence
b : the act by which one nation becomes party to an agreement already in force between other powers
6 : a sudden fit or outburst : access


accessioned; accessioning; accessions

Definition of accession (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to record in order of acquisition Each book in the library had been carefully accessioned.

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Other Words from accession


accessional \ -​ˈsesh-​nəl How to pronounce accessional (audio) , -​ˈse-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for accession

Synonyms: Noun

acquisition, obtainment

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Examples of accession in a Sentence


the accession of Queen Elizabeth II an exhibit of the museum's latest accessions

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Mr Rama says that if such accusations were true the European Commission would not have recommended the opening of EU accession talks, albeit that EU leaders decided to postpone them. The Economist, "Albania is a mess," 28 June 2019 Jimmu’s accession day, February 11, is celebrated as a holiday called National Foundation Day. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Learn about the history—and future—of the Japanese monarchy," 29 Apr. 2019 Bulgaria’s accession, it is said, has allowed its numerous criminal gangs free access to the union. The Economist, "The EU must keep its promise to North Macedonia," 13 June 2019 Although, again, no one quite remembers it that way, the European accession process was by far the most successful democracy promotion exercise in history. Anne Applebaum, The New York Review of Books, "The Lure of Western Europe," 6 June 2019 But the circumstances of the new emperor’s accession—and the Japanese roots of his imperial era’s name—point to new traditions in the making. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Soon we’ll all be living in the imperial Reiwa era. What’s that?," 29 Apr. 2019 Greece had blocked Macedonia’s accession to NATO for more than a decade. Konstantin Testorides, The Seattle Times, "Macedonia prepares for name change by removing signs," 11 Feb. 2019 James’s accession to the throne gave Penn increased influence at court and the prospect of some success in his long crusade for freedom of conscience and toleration. Robert K. Landers, WSJ, "‘William Penn’ and ‘The Worlds of William Penn’ Review: A Trans-Atlantic ‘Holy Experiment’," 11 Jan. 2019 Western countries strongly back the deal, as Macedonia's NATO accession would limit Russian influence in the Balkans. Fox News, "Macedonian president urges voters to skip name change vote," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The artworks that brought in the huge sums at Christie’s were being de-accessioned by the Fujita Museum in Osaka, Japan. Graham Bowley, New York Times, "Surprising Sale at Christie’s Lifts Asia Week New York," 21 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accession.' 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 accession


1551, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accession


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French accession "acquisition, increase" (Old French also "attack of an illness"), borrowed from Latin accessiōn-, accessiō "approach, onset, paroxysm, addition, accessory," from accēdere "to approach" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at accede


derivative of accession entry 1

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Statistics for accession

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accession

The first known use of accession was in 1551

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More Definitions for accession


ac·​ces·​sion | \ ak-ˈse-shən How to pronounce accession (audio) \

Kids Definition of accession

: the rise to a position of power accession to the throne


ac·​ces·​sion | \ ik-ˈse-shən, ak- How to pronounce accession (audio) \

Legal Definition of accession

1 : increase by something added specifically : the mode of acquiring property by which the owner of property (as a building, land, or cattle) becomes the owner of an addition by growth, improvement, increase, or labor
2 : the act of assenting or agreeing

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Comments on accession

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