ac·​com·​pa·​ni·​ment | \ə-ˈkəm-pə-nē-mənt, -ˈkəmp-nē-\

Definition of accompaniment 

1 music : an instrumental or vocal part designed to support or complement a melody sang the song with a piano accompaniment

2a : an addition (such as an ornament) intended to give completeness or symmetry to something : complement a tie that's a nice accompaniment to his new suit

b : an accompanying situation or occurrence : concomitant studied Italian as an accompaniment to her art history class

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Other Words from accompaniment

accompanimental \-​ˌkəm-​pə-​nē-​ˈmen-​tᵊl, -​ˌkəmp-​nē-​ \ adjective

Examples of accompaniment in a Sentence

She sings without musical accompaniment. A nice tie was a fine accompaniment to his new suit. This dish can be served as an accompaniment to most meat main dishes. This wine is a good accompaniment for spicy foods. She studied Italian as an accompaniment to her classes in art history.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Costanzo asked Condo to do his portrait for the album cover, and the friends then decided that Condo would also paint onstage as a visual accompaniment to Costanzo’s vocals. Laura Van Straaten, WSJ, "Is It Possible to Reinvent Opera? This Group Is Trying," 20 Sep. 2018 Cooking With Horseradish Most of us know horseradish as a classic accompaniment to hot or cold roast beef. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow and Prepare Horseradish Straight From Your Garden," 27 July 2018 Conductor Davies led the orchestra in sensitive accompaniments and vivid interludes ranging from pastoral tone-painting to moments of near-stillness to vast, granite blocks of sound. Howard Reich,, "Grant Park Orchestra review: A fitting 80th birthday tribute to William Bolcom," 7 July 2018 Over a dozen open bottles of Champagne pour up the perfect accompaniment for their eclectic menu of cold and hot oyster dishes. Anchorage Daily News, "Searching for Anchorage’s finest bites? Think seafood," 2 May 2018 Violinist Gil Shaham brought aching lyricism to the solo line, and Tilson Thomas, not hesitating to drown him out when Berg allowed no other choice, once more sought every ounce of expression from every line in the complex symphonic accompaniment. Mark Swed,, "MTT takes Mahler to a new level in San Francisco Symphony tour," 28 Mar. 2018 These are intriguing hybrids, with the melodic soul of a folk tune but the harmonic intricacy (especially in the accompaniments) of a sophisticated urban observer. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Enchanting opera recital by young soprano Toni Marie Palmertree," 22 Mar. 2018 His signature is the luxuriously creamy ankimo (monkfish liver) pate, steeped in sweetened soy sauce and dabbed with wasabi—the perfect accompaniment to sake. Melinda Joe, Condé Nast Traveler, "22 Best Places for Sushi in Tokyo," 27 Feb. 2018 The best accompaniment to a collection characterized by old school anarchy? Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Hot Pink Hair! Printed Buzz Cuts! Punk is the New Pretty at London Fashion Week," 15 Sep. 2018

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

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for accompaniment

accompany + -ment, on the model of French accompagnement, going back to Old French acompaignement "feudal power-sharing contract," derivative of acompaigner "to accompany"

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Statistics for accompaniment

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for accompaniment

The first known use of accompaniment was in 1697

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More Definitions for accompaniment



English Language Learners Definition of accompaniment

: music played to support a person who is singing or playing a musical instrument

: something that is added to another thing to make it better or more appealing; especially : something added to or served with food or a meal

: something that is done or that happens at the same time as something else


ac·​com·​pa·​ni·​ment | \ə-ˈkəm-pə-nē-mənt \

Kids Definition of accompaniment

: music played in support of someone singing or playing an instrument

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Comments on accompaniment

What made you want to look up accompaniment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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