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

Synonyms for accession

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of accession in a Sentence

Noun the accession of Queen Elizabeth II an exhibit of the museum's latest accessions
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Prior to China’s accession, the US was producing 5.6 million bicycles at home in 1990. Garphil Julien, Wired, "A Plan to Fix the US Bike Shortage," 12 Oct. 2020 Among the six western Balkan nations seeking to join the EU, Montenegro has advanced most on the path to accession and has the highest economic output per capita. Misha Savic,, "Europe’s Most-Enduring Leader Faces Biggest Test in Balkan Vote," 29 Aug. 2020 On accession to power, the ideologues become apparatchiks, thrilled with their ability to control events. David Mamet, National Review, "Hamlet and Oedipus Meet the Zombies," 17 Sep. 2020 Popular support for accession varies among the states, but those in favor outnumber those against. Misha Savic,, "Why the EU’s Balkan Expansion Faces a Long and Winding Road," 29 Aug. 2020 Serbia and Montenegro are the front-runners, while Albania and North Macedonia may soon start accession talks. Misha Savic,, "Why the EU’s Balkan Expansion Faces a Long and Winding Road," 29 Aug. 2020 The subterranean army was created at the behest of Qin Shi Huang shortly after his accession to the throne of the Qin state at age 13. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Archaeologists Excavate 200 More Chinese Terracotta Warriors," 3 Jan. 2020 The bloc has already suspended Turkish accession negotiations, and most member states imposed an arms embargo over Ankara’s military operations in Syria. Nikos Chrysoloras,, "EU to Sanction Turkish Nationals Over Gas Drilling Off Cyprus," 10 May 2020 Other branches of the military have already offered cyber warriors steep bonuses to re-enlist and the Army has even created a direct accession program in cyber warfare. Monica M. Ruiz, Wired, "To Bolster Cybersecurity, the US Should Look to Estonia," 14 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The National Gallery accessioned some 8,300 works, including pieces by Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Edward Hopper and Jenny Holzer, transforming its holdings of American and contemporary art and photography. Peggy Mcglone, Washington Post, "Art from the Corcoran reestablishes its place in D.C. with exhibition at AU," 6 Sep. 2019 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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Time Traveler for accession

Time Traveler

The first known use of accession was in 1551

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Statistics for accession

Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Accession.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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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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