ac·​com·​plice ə-ˈkäm-pləs How to pronounce accomplice (audio) -ˈkəm- How to pronounce accomplice (audio)
: one associated with another especially in wrongdoing
was convicted as an accomplice to murder

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 Alleged accomplices Cory Fleming, a former lawyer and college roommate, and Russell Laffitte, an ex-banking CEO, who prosecutors say aided him in schemes to defraud clients out of money from at least 2005 to 2021, also appeared in court Thursday. Erik Ortiz, NBC News, 14 Sep. 2023 However, his accomplice, later identified as a Cleveland woman, did get away. John Benson, cleveland, 7 Sep. 2023 Eventually, the truck pulls over, and the guards go to check on him... and one of them (not Luis Guzman, though that would've been a fun twist) is actually Boyd's love interest and accomplice. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 29 Aug. 2023 The Associated Press reported that accomplice liability charges led to the conviction of a motorist in the 1990s who was too drunk to drive and gave their keys to a drunk passenger, who ultimately was charged with drunk driving. John Hilliard,, 19 Aug. 2023 Texas murderer Dean Corll – whose nickname came from his family's candy store and his tendency to give free sweets to children – paid teenagers David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley to bring him area boys, who the accomplice teens lured with the promise of parties and rides. Christina Coulter, Fox News, 15 Aug. 2023 The thief’s device sends that signal to an accomplice standing near the owner’s home, which transmits a copy of the car’s signal. Doug Jacobson, The Conversation, 14 Aug. 2023 Jorge Medina, 20, was found guilty by a jury late Thursday night after a four-day trial which started Monday in Lake County Court in Waukegan, after more than 12 witnesses, including Medina’s accomplice, testified. Steve Sadin, Chicago Tribune, 1 Sep. 2023 Scammers are using new distraction techniques, such as asking for directions or pretending to be lost, to divert your attention while an accomplice steals your belongings. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, 26 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'accomplice.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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.

First Known Use

1584, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of accomplice was in 1584

Dictionary Entries Near accomplice

Cite this Entry

“Accomplice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ac·​com·​plice ə-ˈkäm-pləs How to pronounce accomplice (audio) -ˈkəm- How to pronounce accomplice (audio)
: someone associated with another in wrongdoing

Legal Definition


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

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

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