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[uh-kom-plis] /əˈkɒm plɪs/
a person who knowingly helps another in a crime or wrongdoing, often as a subordinate.
Origin of accomplice
late Middle English
1475-85; a(c) of unclear orig. + late Middle English complice < Middle French < Medieval Latin complici- (stem of complex) partner; see complex
Can be confused
accomplice, accomplish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for accomplice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The physician's accomplice, undertaker's benefactor and grave worm's provider.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • She might be an accomplice, but she must have had a principal—and who could that principal be?

  • The cornet hesitated for a little, and then told his uncle the name of his accomplice.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • As he had said, the idea of having an accomplice relieved him.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • I was going to bring trouble and disgrace upon you also as my comrade and accomplice.

    The Christian Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for accomplice


/əˈkɒmplɪs; əˈkʌm-/
a person who helps another in committing a crime
Word Origin
C15: from a complice, interpreted as one word. See complice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for accomplice

1580s (earlier complice, late 15c.), from Old French complice "a confederate," from Late Latin complicem (nominative complex) "partner, confederate," from Latin complicare "fold together" (see complicate). With parasitic a- on model of accomplish, etc., or perhaps by assimilation of indefinite article in phrase a complice.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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