[ uh-kawst, uh-kost ]
See synonyms for accost on
verb (used with object)
  1. to confront boldly: The beggar accosted me for money.

  2. to approach, especially with a greeting, question, or remark.

  1. (of prostitutes, procurers, etc.) to solicit for sexual purposes.

  1. 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

Other words from accost

  • ac·cost·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ac·cost·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use accost in a sentence

  • He wanted to control features and voice before accosting one of the guardians of the magnate.

    Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
  • Then, deciding that nothing would be achieved by again accosting the strange woman, she returned to the waiting taxi.

    Ghost Beyond the Gate | Mildred A. Wirt

British Dictionary definitions for accost


/ (əˈkɒst) /

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

  1. rare a greeting

Origin of accost

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

Derived forms of accost

  • accostable, adjective

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