[ ak-ses-uh-ree ]
See synonyms for: accessoryaccessories on

noun,plural ac·ces·so·ries.
  1. a subordinate or supplementary part, object, or the like, used mainly for convenience, attractiveness, safety, etc., as a spotlight on an automobile or a lens cover on a camera.

  2. an article or set of articles of dress, as gloves, earrings, or a scarf, that adds completeness, convenience, attractiveness, etc., to one's basic outfit.

  1. Law.

    • Also called accessory before the fact . a person who, though not present during the commission of a felony, is guilty of having aided and abetted another, who committed the felony.

    • Also called accessory after the fact . a person who knowingly conceals or assists another who has committed a felony.: Compare principal (def. 9b).

  2. Anatomy. accessory nerve.

  1. contributing to a general effect; supplementary; subsidiary.

  2. Law. giving aid as an accessory.

Origin of accessory

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English accessorie (from Middle French ), from Medieval Latin accessōrius. See accede, -tory1

synonym study For accessory

1. See addition.

Other words for accessory

Other words from accessory

  • ac·ces·so·ri·ly, adverb
  • ac·ces·so·ri·ness, noun
  • in·ter·ac·ces·so·ry, adjective
  • non·ac·ces·so·ry, adjective, noun, plural non·ac·ces·so·ries. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use accessory in a sentence

  • In the evening, St. Peter's and its accessories were illuminated—by far the most brilliant spectacle I ever saw.

    Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
  • There appears a rude attempt to picture the mouth cavity and to show those interesting accessories, the teeth.

    Children's Ways | James Sully
  • The ceremony inevitably lacked certain of the traditional accessories that strangely influenced the popular mind.

    King Robert the Bruce | A. F. Murison
  • A splendid library and all the comfortable accessories, which they are careful to supply studious youth with in this country.

    Friend Mac Donald | Max O'Rell
  • With the next painting comes the more exact study from models and accessories themselves.

    The Painter in Oil | Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

British Dictionary definitions for accessory


/ (əkˈsɛsərɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. a supplementary part or object, as of a car, appliance, etc

  2. (often plural) a small accompanying item of dress, esp of women's dress

  1. a person who incites someone to commit a crime or assists the perpetrator of a crime, either before or during its commission

  1. supplementary; additional; subordinate

  2. assisting in or having knowledge of an act, esp a crime

Origin of accessory

C17: from Late Latin accessōrius: see access

Derived forms of accessory

  • accessorial (ˌæksɛˈsɔːrɪəl), adjective
  • accessorily, adverb
  • accessoriness, noun

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