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

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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

Now, many of Epstein's accomplices may face the wrath, said Attorney General William Barr, whose Department of Justice is in charge of the jail where Epstein died. Fortune, "Jeffrey Epstein Is Dead, but the Battle Over His Fortune Is Just Beginning," 13 Aug. 2019 Police were continuing to search for a possible accomplice in Gilroy, which is about 30 miles southeast of San Jose. Amy Harmon,, "6-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl among those killed in California shooting," 29 July 2019 Getty Images Three's usually company, but the creators of Good Girls decided that adding a fourth accomplice to the mix would be great for the story. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "'Good Girls' Is Returning for an Explosive Third Season," 10 July 2019 In recent weeks, with Harrier as a willing accomplice and muse, Redway has re-created soft, shoulder-sweeping waves à la Foxy Brown’s knockout heroine Pam Grier; the longer disco-worthy cascade is a nod to early-’80s Diana Ross. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Janet! Diana! All the Iconic Women Behind This BlacKkKlansman Star’s Red Carpet Beauty," 10 Aug. 2018 Handcuffed to a beautiful but reluctant accomplice, Hannay must outwit a nefarious spy ring to prevent critical secrets from being sent out of the country. F. Kathleen Foley,, "The 99-Seat Beat: 'Slaughter City,' '39 Steps' and more," 22 June 2018 In a clemency plea to Gov. Bill Lee, attorneys for West wrote that his then-17-year-old accomplice Ronnie Martin actually killed both Union County victims. CBS News, "Tennessee executes inmate in electric chair for killing mother and daughter in 1986," 15 Aug. 2019 The Irish sitcom, currently streaming on Netflix, follows four girls (and their teen guy accomplice) who are growing up in Ireland during the last years of the Troubles. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Netflix’s Derry Girls is the best teen show out right now," 14 Aug. 2019 Between July 2007 and September 2013, Sharp and his accomplice conspired to defraud investors in a project to produce biodiesel fuel in the West African nation of Ghana., "83-year-old con man headed back to federal prison for violating conditions of his release," 7 Aug. 2019

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

12 Sep 2019

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 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

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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 make a temporary encampment

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