Definition of accost
: 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
He was accosted by three gang members on the subway.
She was so famous that people would accost her on the street and ask for an autograph.
Recent Examples of accost from the Web
Sharon Weston Broome, the new mayor of Baton Rouge, wants the police officers who accosted Alton Sterling in July 2016 to be terminated.
After accosting about a dozen shoppers, not one expressed a desire to buy a Dreamcast — even with prices in Japan slated to come down this month from about US$250 to roughly $165.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accost'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1567See Words from the same year
ACCOST Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of accost for Students
: to approach and speak to angrily or aggressively
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).