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

Synonyms for accomplice


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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 Boudin, an accomplice to the robbery, served twenty-two years in prison and expressed remorse for her actions. Rachael Bedard, The New Yorker, 7 May 2022 That being said, Houdini sometimes used an accomplice or assistant to aid in making good his escape. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Althaus and the accomplice again attacked the initial male victim who had been pistol whipped. Brock Blasdell, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2022 And there are many–a drug cartel, the FBI, a dogged private investigator—converging on Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney), their kids (Skylar Gaertner and Sofia Hublitz), and their off-on accomplice Ruth (Julia Garner). John Jurgensen, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 Burford and an accomplice were accused of operating a cocaine ring in 2009 after officers from Cleveland, Bedford and Garfield Heights seized 70 pounds of the drug that police said had a street value of $5 million. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, 26 Apr. 2022 Attorney Jeffrey Maylor tried the murder case under the legal theory of accomplice liability. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 21 Apr. 2022 His wife, the girl of his childhood, the accomplice in his American escapade, had died. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 Beijing’s silence amid overwhelming international condemnation of the invasion has prompted critics to call China an accomplice to the Kremlin’s actions. Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for accomplice

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The first known use of accomplice was in 1584

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Accomplice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for accomplice


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

More from Merriam-Webster on accomplice

Nglish: Translation of accomplice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accomplice for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about accomplice


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