ac·​com·​plice | \ ə-ˈkäm-pləs, -ˈkəm- \

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

The perpetrators in several recent attacks were radicalized in prison, including Mr. Nemmouche and an alleged accomplice also on trial, say prosecutors. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "Jihadists Behind Bars Pose New Threats for Europe," 9 Jan. 2019 If you and an accomplice plan a bank robbery, a hacking attempt, or a home break-in and take at least one concrete step toward enacting your plan, you can be charged with conspiracy. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Why Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to “conspiracy against the United States”," 14 Sep. 2018 After the limbs were smashed, the injured were taken to hospitals where accomplices in the scheme would handle their cases, authorities said. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Police say Sicily gangsters crushed limbs in insurance fraud," 9 Aug. 2018 Suddenly Vaughn remembered seeing Coggins get into a car with Gebhardt, Gebhardt’s girlfriend at the time, now deceased, and the defendant’s brother in-law and alleged accomplice William Moore Sr. Christian Boone, ajc, "Old doubts quashed, new ones raised as cold case killing goes to jury," 25 June 2018 Zschaepe was arrested in 2011, shortly after her two accomplices were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide. Frank Jordans,, "German suspect in neo-Nazi trial guilty of 10 killings, court finds," 11 July 2018 Holmes, 53, pleaded guilty to kidnapping one of his accomplices in a drug trafficking operation between Colorado and Kansas City after suspecting the man stole a duffel bag full of cash, the Attorney's Office said. Max Londberg, kansascity, "KC man known as 'Peckerwood' guilty of kidnapping, torturing victim in a basement," 10 July 2018 Seeing Jay Ro fall to the floor, Singarath and his accomplice fled. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Some refugees resettling in America find gun violence instead of peace," 27 June 2018 His alleged accomplice, Trinity Arvin Keara Jones, 18, of Ramona was also charged, officials reported. Ramona Sentinel, "‘Skinny Bandit’ suspect, alleged accomplice arrested," 23 June 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

17 Jan 2019

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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 \

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

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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