- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Anatomy. accessory nerve.
- contributing to a general effect; supplementary; subsidiary.
- Law. giving aid as an accessory.
- Petrography. (of a mineral) being present in small amounts in a rock and having no bearing on the classification of the rock, as zircon in granite.
Origin of accessory
SynonymsSee more synonyms for accessory on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for accessory
A shift to the accessory position would have also caused the power steering to suddenly quit.The Cops Who Found Out the Truth About GM's Deadly Cars—in 2006
July 17, 2014
Adoption of the accessory has even spawned its own fashion subculture.The Chinese Can’t Catch Their Breath
May 5, 2014
The accessory was easily lifted by a gust of wind and would regularly get entangled in the wheel spokes of carriages.Corsets, Muslin Disease, and More of the Deadly Fashion Trends
The Fashion Beast Team
April 1, 2014
It is no longer primarily an accessory; it becomes something larger.Victoire de Castellane’s ‘Precious Objects’ at the Gagosian Gallery
March 13, 2014
Unlike a phone, wearable technology is an add-on, an accessory, something that comes on top.Is Wearable Technology a Fad or the Future?
January 9, 2014
It censured Mrs. McKee severely for having been, so to speak, and accessory after the fact.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
It is always more or less a question of "an accessory business."The Sexual Question
The pages of history record its undoing and its accessory to crime.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
Don't you think your friend might be held an accessory after the fact to the death of the German?Masterpieces of Mystery
If Reid should fall, Mackenzie felt he would be an accessory to the crime.The Flockmaster of Poison Creek
George W. Ogden
- a supplementary part or object, as of a car, appliance, etc
- (often plural) a small accompanying item of dress, esp of women's dress
- a person who incites someone to commit a crime or assists the perpetrator of a crime, either before or during its commission
- supplementary; additional; subordinate
- assisting in or having knowledge of an act, esp a crime
Word Origin and History for accessory
also accessary, early 15c. as a legal term in the criminal sense of "one aiding in a crime;" also "that which is subordinate to something else," from Late Latin accessorius, from accessor, agent noun from accedere (see access (n.)). Attested from 1896 as "woman's smaller articles of dress," hence accessorize.
1550s, "subordinate," from Late Latin accessorius, from accessor, agent noun from accedere (see access (n.)). Meaning "aiding in crime" is from c.1600.
- Having a secondary, supplementary, or subordinate function.