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90s Slang You Should Know


[uh-kawst, uh-kost] /əˈkɔst, əˈkɒst/
verb (used with object)
to confront boldly:
The beggar accosted me for money.
to approach, especially with a greeting, question, or remark.
(of prostitutes, procurers, etc.) to solicit for sexual purposes.
a greeting.
Origin of accost
First recorded in 1570-80, accost is from the Late Latin word accostāre to be or put side by side. See ac-, coast
Related forms
accostable, adjective
unaccostable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for accost
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He could wear a fair outside, and accost me in a pleasant voice, like you.'

    A Life's Secret Mrs. Henry Wood
  • He desired Maurice to accost him, but no better result ensued.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • When the service was over, we were about to enter the carriage, when who should accost us but Harcourt.

    Japhet in Search of a Father Frederick Marryat
  • It was better on the whole that he should not accost Rendel.

    The Arbiter Lady F. E. E. Bell
  • The troopers decided to accost the man from the outside exit, rather than subjecting the Cubs to possible gunfire.

  • Why did you accost me at the Gare du Nord the other evening?

    The Blonde Lady Maurice Leblanc
  • In the mean time the jeweller had entered; he remained respectfully at the door, and waited for the queen to accost him.

  • He has been accustomed to meet them with pleasant looks, and accost them in kindly words.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for accost


(transitive) to approach, stop, and speak to (a person), as to ask a question, accuse of a crime, solicit sexually, etc
(rare) a greeting
Derived Forms
accostable, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin accostāre to place side by side, from Latin costa side, rib
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 accost

1570s, from Middle French accoster "move up to," from Italian accostare or directly from Late Latin accostare "come up to the side," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + costa "rib, side" (see coast (n.)). The original notion is of fleets of warships attacking an enemy's coast. Related: Accosted; accosting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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