accessory

noun
ac·ces·so·ry | \ik-ˈse-sə-rē, ak-, ek-, -ˈses-rē also ə-ˈse-\
variants: or less commonly accessary
plural accessories

Definition of accessory 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an object or device that is not essential in itself but adds to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else auto accessories clothing accessories

b : a thing of secondary or lesser importance : adjunct

2 law

a : a person not actually or constructively present but contributing as an assistant or instigator to the commission of an offense

called also accessory before the fact

b : a person who knowing that a crime has been committed aids or shelters the offender with intent to defeat justice

called also accessory after the fact

accessory

adjective

Definition of accessory (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : assisting under the orders of another especially : contributing to a crime but not as the chief agent

2 : aiding or contributing in a secondary way : supplementary accessory materials

3 : present in a minor amount and not essential as a constituent an accessory mineral in a rock

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Synonyms & Antonyms for accessory

Synonyms: Noun

accoutrement (or accouterment), adapter (also adaptor), add-on, adjunct, appendage, appliance, attachment, option

Synonyms: Adjective

appurtenant, auxiliary, peripheral, supplemental, supplementary

Antonyms: Adjective

chief, main, principal

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Examples of accessory in a Sentence

Noun

fashion accessories such as scarves, handkerchiefs, bracelets, and rings He is wanted as an accessory to murder.

Adjective

most phone services offer accessory features such as call-waiting
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then add glam accessories like oversize earrings, gold heels and a statement clutch. Hayley Phelan, New York Times, "Wear Your Nightie Out," 11 July 2018 Today, the accessories, which can be customized, are available in the Via Margutta store and online. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Will Saddlers Union Be the Next Heritage House to Make It Big?," 6 July 2018 Even that quintessentially feminine accessory is not quintessentially feminine at all. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "What High Heels Can Teach About Gendered ‘Truths’," 26 June 2018 The consumer-electronics giant uses unique accessories like the AirPods to round out its hardware and software ecosystem. Mark Gurman, Bloomberg.com, "Apple to Unveil High-End AirPods, Over-Ear Headphones For 2019," 25 June 2018 Sherper's carries sportswear like T-shirts and accessories like bandannas. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 Father's Day gift ideas that can be found in Milwaukee suburbs," 5 June 2018 The most peculiar accessory HP introduced is the Mindframe Headset, a gaming headset with internal cooling technology. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "HP Omen 15 laptop gets Nvidia Max-Q graphics, sleeker design with slim bezels," 30 May 2018 City Smoke Shop, 324 Newbury City Smoke Shop, which opened earlier this year, features smoking products and accessories like glass pipes, cigarettes, cigars, vapes, and of course, Juuls. Janelle Nanos, BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s a look at the new shops opening on Newbury Street this summer," 25 May 2018 Basic tees, lightweight jackets, leggings, and sneakers elevate each look with easy accessories like sunglasses, a watch, and simple earrings. The Cut, "How to Dress for 7 Spring Occasions: A Trunk Club Stylist Explains," 19 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Similarly, in 2015, Austin eased the requirements for accessory dwellings in certain neighborhoods. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Cities Hope for Big Benefits From Tiny Houses," 26 June 2018 The city previously had restrictive rules on accessory units, generally banning them except those for people 55 and older. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Newport begins tweaking ‘granny flat’ rules, including lower parking requirement," 18 May 2018 The council voted 6-2 to allow the following: * Elimination of lot size requirements so accessory units can be built anywhere. Jacqueline Lee, The Mercury News, "Palo Alto ‘granny units’ encouraged by new zoning rules," 9 Mar. 2017

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for accessory

Noun

Middle English accessorie, axcessary "person contributing to the commission of an offense," borrowed from Anglo-French accessorie, accessoire, borrowed from Medieval Latin accessōrius "person contributing to the commission of an offense, supplementary material," from Latin access- (stem in derivation of accēdere "to approach") + -ōrius -ory entry 1 — more at accede

Adjective

Middle English accessorie, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin accessōrius — more at accessory entry 1, -ory entry 2

Noun

Medieval Latin accessorius subordinate matter, accomplice to a crime, from Latin accedere to go to, agree, assent

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Learn More about accessory

Statistics for accessory

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accessory

The first known use of accessory was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for accessory

accessory

noun
ac·ces·so·ry | \ik-ˈse-sə-rē, ak-\
plural accessories

Kids Definition of accessory

1 : a person who helps another in doing wrong an accessory to theft

2 : an object or device not necessary in itself but adding to the beauty or usefulness of something else clothing accessories

accessory

adjective
ac·ces·so·ry | \ik-ˈses-(ə-)rē, ak- \

Medical Definition of accessory 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : aiding, contributing, or associated in a secondary way: as

a : being or functioning as a vitamin accessory food substances

b : associated in position or function with something (as an organ or lesion) usually of more importance the testis and accessory male ducts and glands— B. T. Scheer

2 : supernumerary accessory spleens

accessory

noun
plural accessories

Medical Definition of accessory (Entry 2 of 2)

accessory

noun
ac·ces·so·ry
variants: also accessary \ik-ˈse-sə-rē, ak- \
plural accessories

Legal Definition of accessory 

1 : a person who is not actually or constructively present but with criminal intent contributes as an assistant or instigator to the commission of a felony

called also accessory before the fact

— compare principal in the second degree at principal

Note: The traditional distinction between accessories before the fact and principals, that accessories were not present and principals were present at the commission of the crime, is not recognized under most modern state statutes. Accessories before the fact are usually considered principals.

2 : a person who knowing that a felony has been committed aids, assists, or shelters the offender with the intent to defeat justice

called also accessory after the fact

Note: Many state statutes now omit the term accessory after the fact and instead characterize the accessory as having committed a particular offense, such as obstructing justice.

3 : the crime of being an accessory usually used with to and specifying the crime convicted of murder and accessory to murder— H. B. Zobel — compare substantive crime

Other Words from accessory

accessoryship noun

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Comments on accessory

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