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

Arquette, who packed on weight for the role and donned prosthetic teeth, contacts, and a wig, is barely recognizable as Matt and Sweat’s civilian accomplice. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Escape at Dannemora and The Little Drummer Girl Put the Prestige in Prestige TV," 16 Nov. 2018 Detection in place also offers law enforcement an opportunity to catch the skimmer or an accomplice in the act of trying to remove the device after data is collected. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Credit card skimmers now need to fear the Reaper," 15 Aug. 2018 Bell and the two accomplices were convicted of murder. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Ex-radical who killed 2 NYC officers set to be paroled," 27 Apr. 2018 Waiters got out of the van and fired nine shots into the crowd, killing Brown and wounding two other teenagers, an attack committed at the behest of his older accomplices, prosecutors said. Travis Andersen,, "In court, man confronts gang members convicted of killing his brother," 29 June 2018 Police say the woman left the store with her accomplice in a Chrysler. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, ""Dancing thief" caught on camera stealing scratch-offs while busting a move," 21 June 2018 Stuffed with talented, beautiful women playing naughty, this is the latest addition to the cycle that was once about an improbably suave thief, Danny Ocean (George Clooney), and his mostly male band of charming accomplices. Gary Ross, New York Times, "Review: ‘Ocean’s 8’ Women Walk Away With a Male Franchise. Sort Of.," 5 June 2018 He is charged in the death of a 23-year-old accomplice, who was shot by a homeowner during the burglary of a residence near Lantana on Aug. 13, 2015. Marc Freeman,, "In jailhouse call, defendant names jurors and prosecutors, says they need to pray," 11 May 2018 Police said the investigation into the identity of any accomplices is continuing. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "11-year-old forced to jump from SUV during Aurora gas station carjacking, police say," 5 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.

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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

5 Dec 2018

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 \

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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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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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