accost

play
verb ac·cost \ə-ˈkȯst, -ˈkäst\

Definition of accost

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to approach and speak to (someone) often in a challenging or aggressive way He was accosted by a stranger on the street.

Examples of accost in a Sentence

  1. He was accosted by three gang members on the subway.

  2. She was so famous that people would accost her on the street and ask for an autograph.

Origin and Etymology of accost

borrowed from Middle French accoster, going back to Old French, “to go alongside of, sail along the coast of, place (a vessel) beside another” (s'acoster a “to take a place beside, draw near, support”), probably going back to Vulgar Latin *accostāre, from Latin ad- ad- + costa “rib, side” — more at 1coast A common, polysemous verb in Anglo-French, though the English verb, which only begins to appear in the late 16th century, is apparently borrowed directly from Continental French. The sense “to approach and speak to” only appears in French in the early 17th century, about the same time that it appears in English.


First Known Use: 1567


ACCOST Defined for English Language Learners

accost

play
verb ac·cost \ə-ˈkȯst, -ˈkäst\

Definition of accost for English Language Learners

  • : to approach and speak to (someone) often in an angry, aggressive, or unwanted way


ACCOST Defined for Kids

accost

play
verb ac·cost \ə-ˈkȯst\

Definition of accost for Students

accosted

;

accosting

  1. :  to approach and speak to angrily or aggressively


Learn More about accost


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up accost? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not embarrassed or apologetic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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