accessory before/after the fact

noun phrase
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of accessory before/after the fact

: someone who helps a criminal before/after a crime has been committed
  • She was charged as an accessory after the fact because she let the robber hide in her house.

Word by Word Definitions

accessory play
  1. : an object or device that is not essential in itself but adds to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else

  2. : a thing of secondary or lesser importance : adjunct

  3. : 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

  1. : assisting under the orders of another

  2. : aiding or contributing in a secondary way : supplementary

  3. : present in a minor amount and not essential as a constituent

before play
  1. : in advance : ahead

  2. : at an earlier time

  1. : forward of : in front of

  2. : in the presence of

  3. : under the jurisdiction or consideration of

  1. : earlier than the time that

  2. : sooner or quicker than

  3. : so that … do not

after play
  1. : following in time or place : afterward, behind, later

  1. : behind in place

  2. : subsequent to in time or order

  3. : subsequent to and in view of

  1. : subsequently to the time when

  1. : later in time

  2. : located toward the rear and especially toward the stern of a ship or tail of an aircraft

  1. used with a present participle to indicate action completed and especially just completed

  1. : afternoon

  1. used as the first part of a compound to indicate an event or entity that follows or results from the thing denoted by the second part of the compound

  2. used as the first part of a compound to indicate an event or entity of the same nature as the thing denoted by the second part of the compound but which follows that event or entity and is less intense or significant

  3. the rear or lower part

fact play
  1. : something that has actual existence

  2. : an actual occurrence

  3. : a piece of information presented as having objective reality


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