ac·com·plice | \ə-ˈkäm-pləs, -ˈkəm- \

Definition of accomplice 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for accomplice


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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

There was commotion in the court when the judge issued lesser sentences to four others convicted of being accomplices in some of the killings. Erik Kirschbaum,, "German Neo-Nazi found guilty of murder in execution-style slayings of migrants," 11 July 2018 In addition, an alleged accomplice of the pair was taken into custody in France and an Iranian diplomat assigned to Tehran's embassy in Vienna was arrested in Germany, his diplomatic immunity stripped by the Austrians. NBC News, "Was it an Iranian terror plot or a false flag operation?," 6 July 2018 The cheater quietly reads out the questions—without being spotted by exam supervisors—and the accomplice murmurs the answers directly into his or her ear. Isabel Coles And, WSJ, "Make-or-Break Exams Bring Out the Best and Brightest Cheaters," 5 July 2018 Officers caught the suspect and an accomplice red-handed — but the suspect wasn’t going down without a fight, Michigan police said. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Man caught breaking into cars went for cop’s gun — and it didn’t end well, Mich. police say," 28 June 2018 The purported accomplice, 18-year-old Trinity Arvin Keara Jones of Ramona, allegedly scouted the bank prior to Taylor's entrance and served as his getaway driver following the crime. City News Service, Pomerado News, "Suspected Poway bank robber indicted," 25 June 2018 An affidavit obtained by the New York Times claims that Williams and an accomplice followed Onfroy into the motorcycle dealership less than an hour before murdering him. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "New Court Documents Reveal XXXTentacion's Killers Followed Him Into Motorcycle Dealership," 23 June 2018 While the accomplice and clerk were in the back of the store, the woman was in the front, dancing and periodically grabbing scratch-offs from behind the counter. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, ""Dancing thief" caught on camera stealing scratch-offs while busting a move," 21 June 2018 The accomplices refused to tell police the name of the fourth suspect, whom police are trying to identify, Knop said. Tyler Langan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Attack at Menomonee Falls McDonalds sends employee to hospital," 25 May 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.

See More

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.

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about accomplice

Share accomplice

Statistics for accomplice

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accomplice

The first known use of accomplice was in 1584

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of accomplice

: a partner in wrongdoing


ac·com·plice | \ə-ˈkäm-pləs, -ˈkəm- \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!