View synonyms for access


[ ak-ses ]


  1. the ability, right, or permission to approach, enter, speak with, or use; admittance:

    They have access to the files.

  2. a way or means of approach:

    The only access to the house was a rough dirt road.

  3. the state or quality of being approachable:

    Located deep in the woods on an island with no dock, the cabin was difficult of access.

  4. Theology. approach to God through Jesus Christ.
  5. an attack or onset, as of a disease or symptom:

    Some influenza patients experience attacks for many weeks after the primary access.

    In a violent access of coughing I fractured one of my ribs.

  6. a sudden, strong burst of emotion:

    In an access of clumsy tenderness, he tried to dry the tears that trembled on her eyelashes.

verb (used with object)

  1. 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 online portal.

  2. Computers. (of a program or system component) to retrieve (data) for use by another program or application or for transfer from one part of the system to another:

    This key enables other applications to access data from within the event management system even if you aren't logged in.


  1. Television. (of programming, time, etc.) available to the public:

    Six channels now offer access services.


/ ˈæksɛs /


  1. the act of approaching or entering
  2. the condition of allowing entry, esp (of a building or room) allowing entry by wheelchairs, prams, etc
  3. the right or privilege to approach, reach, enter, or make use of something
  4. a way or means of approach or entry
  5. the opportunity or right to see or approach someone

    she fights for divorce and free access to her children

  6. modifier designating programmes made by the general public as distinguished from those made by professional broadcasters

    access television

  7. a sudden outburst or attack, as of rage or disease


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

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Other Words From

  • pre·ac·cess noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of access1

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English accesse, from Old French acces or directly from Latin accessus “an approach,” equivalent to acced-, variant stem of accēdere “to accede ” + -tus suffix of verb action

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Word History and Origins

Origin of access1

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

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Example Sentences

In May, I asked the state’s public access counselor to review whether the City Council briefings violated the law.

Unfortunately – and leaving the internet aside – federal programs to help access food, housing, and insurance vary widely from one state to another.

For diversity initiatives in the outdoor industry to be effective, we need sustainable solutions that will provide more access and gain the trust and support of minority communities.

He said his organization continues to provide them with emotional support, apart from access to a housing program and health clinics.

Ten weeks later, though her complaints had been dismissed, she returned because the company said workers now had access to medical-grade masks.

Placed in drinking water, fluoride can serve people who otherwise have poor access to dental care.

Have you tried to access the research that your tax dollars finance, almost all of which is kept behind a paywall?

Can they determine that individual citizens should not have access to rights provided by the Constitution?

The official spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to harm future access to those embattled communities.

The added charge for access to hotel Wi-Fi is not only exploitative but increasingly irrelevant.

By the last-mentioned staircase access is obtained by the general public to the Council Chamber.

Each entry on the vault record book shall be signed by the persons having access to the safe.

And a rampant ache in my head, seconded by a medium-sized gash in the scalp, didn't make for an access of optimism at that moment.

On three sides, the cliffs rise so precipitously from the waves, that all access is impossible.

The bisection of the victim symbolized Christ slain and affording access to God through himself.


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