[ ak-ses ]
/ ˈæk sɛs /


verb (used with object)

to make contact with or gain access to; be able to reach, approach, enter, etc.: Bank customers can access their checking accounts instantly through the new electronic system.
Computers. to locate (data) for transfer from one part of a computer system to another, generally between an external storage device and main storage.


Television. (of programming, time, etc.) available to the public: Six channels now offer access services.

Nearby words

  1. accepter,
  2. accepting,
  3. accepting house,
  4. acceptive,
  5. acceptor,
  6. access broker,
  7. access charge,
  8. access code,
  9. access course,
  10. access land

Origin of access

1275–1325; Middle English accesse (< Old French acces) < Latin accessus an approach, equivalent to acced-, variant stem of accēdere to accede + -tus suffix of v. action

Related formspre·ac·cess, noun

Can be confusedaccess assess excess Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for access

British Dictionary definitions for access


/ (ˈæksɛs) /



to gain access to; make accessible or available
(tr) computing
  1. to obtain or retrieve (information) from a storage device
  2. to place (information) in a storage deviceSee also direct access, sequential access

Word Origin for access

C14: from Old French or from Latin accessus an approach, from accēdere to accede

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

Word Origin and History for access
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for access


[ ăksĕs ]


A means of approaching, entering, exiting, or making use of; passage.
The space required to view a tooth and manipulate dental instruments to remove decay and prepare the tooth for restoration.
The opening in the crown of a tooth necessary to allow adequate admittance to the pulp space to clean, shape, and seal the root canal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.