ac·​com·​plish ə-ˈkäm-plish How to pronounce accomplish (audio) -ˈkəm- How to pronounce accomplish (audio)
accomplished; accomplishing; accomplishes

transitive verb

: to bring about (a result) by effort
have much to accomplish today
: to bring to completion : fulfill
accomplish a job
: to succeed in reaching (a stage in a progression)
would starve before accomplishing half the distanceW. H. Hudson †1922
: to equip thoroughly
accomplishable adjective
accomplisher noun
Choose the Right Synonym for accomplish

perform, execute, discharge, accomplish, achieve, effect, fulfill mean to carry out or into effect.

perform implies action that follows established patterns or procedures or fulfills agreed-upon requirements and often connotes special skill.

performed gymnastics

execute stresses the carrying out of what exists in plan or in intent.

executed the hit-and-run

discharge implies execution and completion of appointed duties or tasks.

discharged his duties

accomplish stresses the successful completion of a process rather than the means of carrying it out.

accomplished everything they set out to do

achieve adds to accomplish the implication of conquered difficulties.

achieve greatness

effect adds to achieve an emphasis on the inherent force in the agent capable of surmounting obstacles.

effected sweeping reforms

fulfill implies a complete realization of ends or possibilities.

fulfilled their ambitions

Example Sentences

There are several different ways to accomplish the same task. Exactly what he thought he would accomplish is unclear.
Recent Examples on the Web The key, Bell said, will be what the team can accomplish during spring training. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 24 Jan. 2023 Curtis, author of Vision to Reality, has helped dozens of small businesses accomplish their vision. Curtis L Jenkins, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 The Solomon Islands has been portrayed by Chinese state media as a model of what China’s international efforts can accomplish, suggesting an unstoppable march toward dominance by America’s main competitor. Damien Cave Matthew Abbott, New York Times, 23 Jan. 2023 Khosrowshahi said automakers could accomplish this feat by eliminating features seen in higher-horsepower cars, building vehicles with two or three tires, and reimagining seating areas. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 19 Jan. 2023 Brady made the playoffs all three years, led the Bucs to back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history, and shattered all notions of what an athlete can accomplish into his mid-40s. Ben Volin,, 17 Jan. 2023 As evidence of what the Precipitation Prediction Grand Challenge could accomplish, DeWitt cites the success of NOAA’s Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program, a research-to-operations program that began in 2009. Dan Stillman And Diana Leonard, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Jan. 2023 As a cook, I was fueled by a sense of urgency to accomplish the painstakingly detailed tasks on my prep list, racing to the finish line each day before service began. Genevieve Yam, Bon Appétit, 13 Jan. 2023 Vladimir Putin does try to sow unrest this way, but how much can this nonsense even accomplish? The Editorial Board, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accomplish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English acomplicen, accomplisshen, borrowed from Anglo-French acomplis-, stem of acomplir, acumplir, from a-, prefix forming transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + complir, cumplir "to complete, fulfill," going back (with conjugation change) to Latin complēre "to fill up, complete" — more at complete entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of accomplish was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near accomplish

Cite this Entry

“Accomplish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ac·​com·​plish ə-ˈkäm-plish How to pronounce accomplish (audio) -ˈkəm- How to pronounce accomplish (audio)
: to bring to a successful finish : perform
accomplishable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on accomplish

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