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


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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 Staveley and his accomplice, David Butziger, 53, of Rhode Island, claimed to have dozens of employees earning wages at four different businesses. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 8 Oct. 2021 The victim complied and the suspect and his accomplice got into the car and drove off., 1 Oct. 2021 Jeffs is found guilty of two counts of rape by an accomplice in Utah. CNN, 20 Aug. 2021 The unarmed accomplice goes to the back of the store to rob two customers, who later lock themselves in a freezer. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 6 Sep. 2021 Austin and the alleged accomplice waited in a silver BMW sedan with its headlights off outside the liquor store while Anderson’s husband shopped inside, according to the complaint filed in the case. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 July 2021 Louisville police accused Smothers and an accomplice of kidnapping a couple at gunpoint, forced them to strip naked and eat dog food. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 26 Mar. 2021 The idea here is the Dolphins keep it close into the fourth quarter and let the humidity become their accomplice. Keven Lerner,, 16 Sep. 2021 His accomplice was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. Amber Hunt, The Enquirer, 4 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for accomplice

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The first known use of accomplice was in 1584

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Accomplice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on accomplice

Nglish: Translation of accomplice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accomplice for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about accomplice


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