accessory

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

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

accessorial, 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

Coach is a frequent Disney collaborator, creating apparel and accessories embroidered with characters from different franchises. Glamour, "At Long Last, Fashion Is Making Cool Merch for Fandoms," 19 Apr. 2019 Neiman Marcus Group Ltd is taking a minority stake in Fashionphile LLC, an online seller of preowned designer handbags and accessories, according to company executives. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Neiman Marcus Pushes Into Growing Market for ‘Preloved’ Handbags," 17 Apr. 2019 Artwork plays a key role in adding interest to a windowless space. Forget greenery, accents and accessories. Cathy Hobbs, The Seattle Times, "Do’s and don’ts for adding light in a windowless room," 11 Apr. 2019 The design of the new vehicles and accessories was an unintended result of President Ronald Reagan’s deregulation of American industries, including the toy industry. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019 Suit Shopping Credit Shop now Styled with: Nine West Flats, Tory Burch Watch, Michael Kors Tote For dinner with friends or shopping Macy's Go all-in on the trend factor by bringing in other of-the-moment accessories. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "How to Style a Pastel Suit for 3 Different Occasions," 1 Apr. 2019 Their new home is said to have eco-friendly appliances, a nursery with vegan paint, and apparently, many high-tech accessories. Vogue, "Did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Sneak Away on a Luxurious Babymoon?," 5 Apr. 2019 For a casual office or dressed-up lunch Macy's Style with warm brown leather accessories and other subtle pops of color to complement, but not compete with, the sherbet shade. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "How to Style a Pastel Suit for 3 Different Occasions," 1 Apr. 2019 Some manufacturers have added optional accessories that are available with select faucet lines. Ed Del Grande, The Seattle Times, "Collect compliments with collection fixtures," 25 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Emil Corsillo is the founder of The Hill-Side, the cult men’s accessory brand, and a creative consultant to many insider fashion brands. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Visit Norway, According To Two Design Insiders," 3 Dec. 2018 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

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Statistics for accessory

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce accessory (audio) , 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- How to pronounce accessory (audio) \

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-​ How to pronounce accessary (audio) \
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

History and Etymology for accessory

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

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Comments on accessory

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