a person who knowingly helps another in a crime or wrongdoing, often as a subordinate.

Origin of accomplice

1475–85; a(c) of unclear orig. + late Middle English complice < Middle French < Medieval Latin complici- (stem of complex) partner; see complex
Can be confusedaccomplice accomplish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for accomplice

Contemporary Examples of accomplice

Historical Examples of accomplice

  • The physician's accomplice, undertaker's benefactor and grave worm's provider.

  • She might be an accomplice, but she must have had a principal—and who could that principal be?

  • The cornet hesitated for a little, and then told his uncle the name of his accomplice.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • As he had said, the idea of having an accomplice relieved him.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • I was going to bring trouble and disgrace upon you also as my comrade and accomplice.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for accomplice



a person who helps another in committing a crime

Word Origin for accomplice

C15: from a complice, interpreted as one word. See complice
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 accomplice

1580s (earlier complice, late 15c.), from Old French complice "a confederate," from Late Latin complicem (nominative complex) "partner, confederate," from Latin complicare "fold together" (see complicate). With parasitic a- on model of accomplish, etc., or perhaps by assimilation of indefinite article in phrase a complice.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper