accessory

1 of 2

noun

ac·​ces·​so·​ry ik-ˈse-sə-rē How to pronounce accessory (audio)
ak-,
ek-,
-ˈses-rē,
 also  ə-ˈse-
variants or less commonly accessary
plural accessories
1
a
: 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

2 of 2

adjective

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
That’s why these Ice Globes are an essential accessory in everyone’s skincare collection. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 Anthropologie Patterned Hair Bow View On Anthropologie $15 Hair bows are trending right now—even for adults—and this gingham one from Anthropologie is a great accessory for any Easter outfit. Amanda Ogle, Southern Living, 16 Feb. 2024 Best-selling luggage is up to 25 percent off, and the deals span across the brand's fan-favorite carry-ons, checked bags, and travel accessories. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 16 Feb. 2024 The proposal would establish a fundamental right to own and use ammunition, firearm accessories and components alongside firearms. Kacen Bayless, Kansas City Star, 15 Feb. 2024 The Harford County Council on Tuesday amended a bill on accessory dwelling units by adding a ban on the construction and zoning of new ones on lots smaller than 1 acre. Dillon Mullan, Baltimore Sun, 14 Feb. 2024 The limited-edition line of apparel (including hoodies and dresses with charms) and accessories (bags, earrings and belts) goes live on February 20 and is available from select retail stores worldwide starting March 29. Gemma A. Williams, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 The art is her way of journeying with her audience, requiring a certain intimacy to craft her deeply intentional accessories. Essence, 13 Feb. 2024 There’s also no shortage of tools and accessories that are actually attractive like moisture meters, pruning shears, and watering cans. Quincy Bulin, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Feb. 2024
Adjective
Carbon fiber poles like these usually cost upwards of $100, yet this carbon pole and accessory pack is only $39.99 for one and $69.99 for the pair—giving this set another award for Best Value Trekking Pole. Lindsey Lapointe, Field & Stream, 4 Jan. 2024 Usually, these are based on CAD files that need to float around for accessory makers. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 21 June 2023 One way Colorado can pave the way for more affordable housing is to encourage building more accessory dwelling units, according to the governor. Washington Examiner, 13 Jan. 2024 Wide Headbands Workout headbands made a splash in 2023, and experts agree the accessory trend will evolve in 2024. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 26 Dec. 2023 Under city code, the zone allows single- through four-family homes, accessory dwellings, cluster homes that share a courtyard, general business, home occupations, sidewalk cafes and short-term rentals. Stacy Ryburn, Arkansas Online, 10 July 2023 Discount department stores remained the most popular destination for shoppers, followed by Dollar/variety stores, apparel, footwear, and accessory retailers. Shelley E. Kohan, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Le Renzo includes the on-site extras of any desirable building in Miami or New York, such as a gym and a wine room; the accessory apartments on lower floors are available only as an additional purchase to use, say, as a nanny annex or a stand-alone home office. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 6 Aug. 2023 But her accessory choices elevate her look to another level. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 2 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near accessory

Cite this Entry

“Accessory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accessory. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

accessory

1 of 2 noun
ac·​ces·​so·​ry ik-ˈses-(ə-)rē How to pronounce accessory (audio)
ak-
plural accessories
1
: something (as an object or device) that is not necessary in itself but adds to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else
2
: a person who aids another in doing wrong or in an attempt to escape justice

accessory

2 of 2 adjective
: aiding or helping in a secondary way : supplementary

Medical Definition

accessory

1 of 2 adjective
ac·​ces·​so·​ry ik-ˈses-(ə-)rē, ak- How to pronounce accessory (audio)
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 glandsB. T. Scheer
2
: supernumerary
accessory spleens

accessory

2 of 2 noun
plural accessories

Legal Definition

accessory

noun
ac·​ces·​so·​ry
variants also accessary
plural accessories
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 murderH. B. Zobel
compare substantive crime
accessoryship noun
Etymology

Noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on accessory

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