[uh-kaw-stid, uh-kos-tid]

adjective Heraldry.

(of animals) represented as side by side: two dolphins accosted.

Origin of accosted

First recorded in 1600–10; accost + -ed2
Related formsun·ac·cost·ed, adjective


[uh-kawst, uh-kost]

verb (used with object)

to confront boldly: The beggar accosted me for money.
to approach, especially with a greeting, question, or remark.
(of prostitutes, procurers, etc.) to solicit for sexual purposes.


a greeting.

Origin of accost

First recorded in 1570–80, accost is from the Late Latin word accostāre to be or put side by side. See ac-, coast
Related formsac·cost·a·ble, adjectiveun·ac·cost·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for accosted

Contemporary Examples of accosted

Historical Examples of accosted

  • I accosted him, when, to my chagrin and disappointment, he was a white man.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • Just then a French tourist came up and accosted us, smiling ruefully.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • As they moved toward the Secretary's office, Porter was accosted by his trainer.


    W. A. Fraser

  • As the boy came through the little gate Mortimer accosted him.


    W. A. Fraser

  • As Maltravers thus soliloquized, he was accosted by Mr. Cleveland.

British Dictionary definitions for accosted



(tr) to approach, stop, and speak to (a person), as to ask a question, accuse of a crime, solicit sexually, etc


rare a greeting
Derived Formsaccostable, adjective

Word Origin for accost

C16: from Late Latin accostāre to place side by side, from Latin costa side, rib
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 accosted



1570s, from Middle French accoster "move up to," from Italian accostare or directly from Late Latin accostare "come up to the side," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + costa "rib, side" (see coast (n.)). The original notion is of fleets of warships attacking an enemy's coast. Related: Accosted; accosting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper