ac·​ces·​sion | \ik-ˈse-shən, 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 , -​ˈse-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

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 Charles official coronation won't actually take place for at least a few months after the accession, following a period of mourning. Rose Minutaglio, Town & Country, "This Is What Prince Charles's Coronation Will Be Like," 27 July 2018 The president of the Republic of Macedonia rejected an agreement with Greece on the nation’s new name, a move that may be only a temporary hurdle in the ex-Yugoslav nation’s NATO and European Union accession plans. Slav Okov And Elizabeth Konstantinova,, "Macedonian president attempts to block name deal," 27 June 2018 The commission voted unanimously in November to remove the sculpture from the plaza, following a report from city staff that called for its de-accession,or removal and sale from the city’s holdings. Steve Annear,, "A giant egg sculpture that was kicked out of Palo Alto will find a new home at Harvard," 25 June 2018 Austria has opposed Turkey’s accession to the European Union, and has angered the Turkish government by barring Turkish politicians from campaigning in the country. New York Times, "Austria Closes 7 Mosques and Seeks to Expel Imams Paid by Turkey," 8 June 2018 These include opening accession talks with Macedonia and formally signing off on a plan that would improve the alliance’s ability to deploy faster in case of an attack. Washington Post, "Trump’s tough NATO talk plays well on eastern flank," 12 July 2018 In return, Turkey could be granted sweeping concessions including as much as 6 billion euros ($67 billion) in aid, progress towards a visa-free travel arrangement with Europe and advancement in its talks on accession to the EU. Josh Lowe, Newsweek, "EU-Turkey Refugee Summit Faces Battle On Multiple Fronts," 17 Mar. 2016 Yet within a year of her accession in 1837, Victoria was caught up in a scandal triggered by her own salacious fantasizing. Elizabeth Lowry, WSJ, "‘Victorians Undone’ Review: Bodies in Question," 4 May 2018 Failure to do so means that the NATO invitation is rescinded and the EU accession process is scuppered. Washington Post, "AP Explains: What the Greek-Macedonian name deal is about," 13 June 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

12 Nov 2018

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 \

Kids Definition of accession

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


ac·​ces·​sion | \ik-ˈse-shən, ak- \

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

What made you want to look up accession? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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