ac·​com·​plice | \ ə-ˈkäm-pləs How to pronounce accomplice (audio) , -ˈkəm- How to pronounce accomplice (audio) \

Definition of accomplice

: one associated with another especially in wrongdoing was convicted as an accomplice to murder

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Synonyms for accomplice


abettor (also abetter), accessory (also accessary), cohort, confederate

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Examples of accomplice in a Sentence

He was convicted as an accomplice to murder. the thief and his accomplices were eventually caught and brought to justice

Recent Examples on the Web

Emails show that federal prosecutors didn’t want the judge to know how many victims and accomplices there were. Julie K. Brown, The Seattle Times, "Perversion of Justice: Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark," 4 Dec. 2018 Wray and other federal officials gave no indication that there might be other suspects or accomplices in the case. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Pipe bomb suspect charged: what we know," 26 Oct. 2018 The quick-witted feline serves as accomplice to protagonist Sabrina Spellman, offering her advice and snide remarks, no matter the circumstance. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Netflix's "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Almost Made Salem a Dog," 15 Sep. 2018 An alleged accomplice in the shoplifting scheme, Chanel Barnes, 27, of Philadelphia, was arrested and remains in the Salem County Jail. Melanie Burney,, "NAACP calls for state probe of deadly Deptford strip mall shooting," 13 June 2018 Benfield, who is charged with three felony counts of embezzlement, implicated Dixon as an accomplice under questioning, reported WHKY. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "NC vet and girlfriend swindled 3 veterans groups, used cash to cover bills, cops say," 4 June 2018 He and several alleged accomplices spent the next nine years in a Venezuelan prison, all the while denying involvement. Ellie Silverman, Washington Post, "Luis Posada Carriles, militant anti-communist who tried to overthrow Castro, dies at 90," 24 May 2018 Mohammed and four alleged accomplices are in pretrial, capital case proceedings for the terror attacks that killed 2,976 people in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "Lawyers: Scan suggests alleged 9/11 plotter suffered head injury in CIA custody | Miami Herald," 30 Apr. 2018 The elder Hays, charged as an accomplice for allegedly ordering the lynching, had his first trial end in a mistrial, and died before a second trial started. Leada Gore,, "'Last lynching in America' shocked Mobile in 1981, bankrupted the KKK," 26 Apr. 2018

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

1584, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accomplice

borrowed from Anglo-French acomplice, alteration of complice "associate" — more at complice

Note: The source of initial a(c)- is unclear. The earlier notion that a- represents fusion of the indefinite article cannot be maintained given the much earlier occurrences of the word in Anglo-French (in a 1384 petition of the Drapers guild, and in vol. 2 of the Rotuli Parliamentorum [1279-1377]). The suggestion that complice has been assimilated to accomplir, "to fulfill, etc.," (see accomplish) is not very compelling semantically.

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Statistics for accomplice

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accomplice

The first known use of accomplice was in 1584

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More Definitions for accomplice



English Language Learners Definition of accomplice

: a person who works with or helps someone who is doing something wrong or illegal


ac·​com·​plice | \ ə-ˈkäm-pləs How to pronounce accomplice (audio) \

Kids Definition of accomplice

: a partner in wrongdoing


ac·​com·​plice | \ ə-ˈkäm-pləs, -ˈkəm- How to pronounce accomplice (audio) \

Legal Definition of accomplice

: one who intentionally and voluntarily participates with another in a crime by encouraging or assisting in the commission of the crime or by failing to prevent it though under a duty to do so the accomplice of the burglar an accomplice in a robbery

History and Etymology for accomplice

alteration (from incorrect division of a complice) of complice, from Middle French, associate, from Late Latin complic- complex partner, confederate

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Comments on accomplice

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


an enemy or opponent

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