Definition of access in English:



  • 1often access tomass noun The means or opportunity to approach or enter a place.

    ‘the staircase gives access to the top floor’
    ‘wheelchair access’
    • ‘Each new shop with two levels will have an elevator, while there will be wheelchair access to the 14-screen cinema.’
    • ‘More than 70 tonnes of waste and spoil were taken from the site to achieve the levels required for wheelchair access to all parts of the garden.’
    • ‘A side gate provides vehicular access to the west facing back garden which is paved and gravelled for easy maintenance.’
    • ‘Two side entrances provide access to the back garden - one has double timber doors which lead to a carport.’
    • ‘The launch also marked the completion of a new ramp providing wheelchair access to the building.’
    • ‘A temporary lift has been installed enabling wheelchair access to one of the wonders of the world.’
    • ‘As well as the Tree House, there is full wheelchair access to the garden, shop, garden café and toilets.’
    • ‘The wide ramp will give wheelchair access to the garden at the centre and the volunteers also concreted the shed area in the garden as well as giving the garden a tidy up.’
    • ‘There is plumbing for a washing machine, and a side door provides access to the garden.’
    • ‘Now a £12,000 lift is being installed to allow wheelchair access to the garden.’
    • ‘It has off-street parking to the front for a couple of cars and double-gated side access to the back garden.’
    • ‘Nor was the lack of wheelchair access to the newly-opened Mango shop missed.’
    • ‘A side door will be opened by the Minster staff to give access to the side transept and the Chapter House.’
    • ‘The double bedroom to the rear has built-in louvre door wardrobes and access to the attic.’
    • ‘There is side access to the south-west facing rear garden which measures 75 feet by 46 feet.’
    • ‘She used the wheelchair access to bring a buggy onto the strand but needed someone to physically lift the buggy onto the beach.’
    • ‘They also slide to the side to make access to the rear seats easier.’
    • ‘Two side entrances offer access to the front and rear landscaped gardens.’
    • ‘A Sligo woman has called for wheelchair access to all election booths after she wasn't able to vote on Friday.’
    • ‘A covered side entrance provides access to the large walled rear garden, which also has an outside toilet.’
    entrance, entry, way in, means of entry, ingress
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The right or opportunity to use or benefit from something.
      ‘do you have access to a computer?’
      ‘awards to help people gain access to training’
      • ‘He also asked officials if members would still have access to the community fund set up to benefit local groups in the town.’
      • ‘Indian farmers are often indebted and credit constrained and do not have access to chemicals at the right point in time.’
      • ‘These sections entitle everyone to have access to health care services provided by the state within its available resources.’
      • ‘He said across the country as few as one per cent of all those who could benefit from such care have access to it.’
      • ‘It is not a policy issue as to whether people should have access to water or not, people are naturally entitled to have access.’
      • ‘In principle this meant developing countries should have the right to have access to cheap generic drugs.’
      • ‘They have access to health and life insurance through their employers, or at their own expense.’
      • ‘If people opt out of the NHS, why should they have access to public money to smooth their treatment?’
      • ‘The deal we're negotiating is for all universities to have access to all journals electronically.’
      • ‘Ensure that next year's influx of students have access to properly funded clubs and resources.’
      • ‘A benefit of this is that most sailors will now have access to more courses than those associated with their billet.’
      • ‘If the common people have access to those technologies, do you know what they will do?’
      • ‘Women have the right to divorce, inherit property, conduct business and have access to knowledge.’
      • ‘That is the debate over whether illegal aliens should have access to health care and other benefits.’
      • ‘It's right and proper that teachers have access to the full process of judicial review, which by its thorough nature, will take time.’
      • ‘Operators have access to a wide range of information and experts within Defence.’
      • ‘Officers on the Operation Delta squad have access to the latest computer technology to hunt for burglars.’
      • ‘Now, who do you think would have access to the resources needed for a well organised covert operation like that?’
      • ‘But the report dismisses claims that Leeds is swamped by asylum seekers who have access to a wide range of benefits.’
      • ‘In particular, it recommends that all children should have access to publicly funded education from the age of three.’
      use of, the use of, the opportunity to use, permission to use
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The right or opportunity to approach or see someone.
      ‘we were denied access to our grandson’
      • ‘This happened recently when she had just given birth in a local hospital and her husband was denied access to see the baby.’
      • ‘And now that this has happened, they insist that they have some right to have access to him.’
      • ‘This group aims to support fathers who suffer after marital disputes, for example by being denied access to their children by the mother.’
      • ‘That he also will be denied access to his players in the dressing room before kick-off has led the manager to believe that he is being unduly punished.’
      • ‘In the meantime there are sources of support and advice for men denied access to their children by mothers.’
      • ‘He was denied access to a solicitor for 24 hours, but his solicitor did not in fact see him until the day after the expiry of this period.’
      • ‘Kujinga, who was initially denied access to his client, was finally allowed to see her by mid-afternoon.’
      • ‘The group Human Rights in China reported in May that Gao was being denied access to her attorneys.’
      • ‘Straw has claimed that British consular staff were denied access to the detainees.’
      • ‘At the same time union representatives were denied access to members and were not faxed requested safety reports.’
      • ‘Arising out of this Hernon was denied access to his daughter for three years.’
      • ‘Then in 1988, on a visit to the prison, she was denied access to her husband.’
      • ‘Most applications for access come from estranged fathers.’
      • ‘While held in Camp Delta, he was denied access to a lawyer and quizzed by the British Secret Service.’
      • ‘Being denied access to their fathers, through no doing of their own.’
      • ‘Another parent was one of two fathers who was denied access to their children for years.’
      • ‘In 1536 she died at Kimbolton House; she was in considerable pain due to cancer and had been denied access to her only daughter.’
      • ‘During that time he was never told he was under arrest and was denied access to a solicitor.’
      • ‘Hishamudin ruled that their detention was unlawful and done in bad faith as they were denied access to family members and lawyers.’
      • ‘He was released in August, but remained suspended from the exercise of his offices and was denied access to the Queen.’
      • ‘Ms. Stewart did not have her speech limited nor were students denied access to her as you suggest.’
      admission, admittance, entry, entrée, ingress, right of entry, permission to enter, the opportunity to enter
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 The process of obtaining or retrieving information stored in a computer's memory.
      ‘this prevents unauthorized access or inadvertent deletion of the file’
      • ‘The window typically is narrow, only about 128MB or so, and any accesses to physical memory outside this window are not remapped.’
      • ‘This execution involves performing arithmetic and logical calculations, initiating memory accesses, and controlling the flow of program execution.’
      • ‘Lock fields are used to coordinate multi-thread and multi-user accesses.’
      • ‘JAVA is a strongly typed language, and its virtual memory environment imposes a restriction on valid memory accesses.’
      • ‘In theory the larger cache improves performance because there is a reduction in the number of physical accesses to the disk.’
      • ‘Virtual Interface Architecture is a new method or establishing application-to-application remote memory accesses over a network.’
      • ‘This is a Trojan designed to open a backdoor access to compromised computer.’
      • ‘In real life, you'd rarely see the hard drive hammered in this way - most of the time, disk accesses occur relatively infrequently, or only last for relatively short periods of time.’
      • ‘We knew that the processor would do a memory access at the time when the corruption would occur.’
      • ‘For these applications, threads are needed to provide concurrent accesses to shared data.’
      • ‘This provides minimal memory consumption, but accesses take more time due to the page faults handling.’
      • ‘Memory data accesses are hundreds of times faster than disk.’
      • ‘Storage bottlenecks occur when the business encounters a combination of repetitive file accesses, and large program and data files that strain storage resources.’
      • ‘The MM reads the page table entry and uses the VMA to find out whether the memory access is legal or not.’
      • ‘Even an experienced programmer might have a hard time tracking down bugs caused by invalid accesses, overflowing writes, accesses to dead memory, memory leaks and the like.’
      • ‘The problem lies in conflicting accesses to a block of memory by both the AGP processor and the CPU.’
      • ‘In some cases the value and utility of data is actually increasing as data ages even if the accesses to that data decline.’
      • ‘If we now call overbroad subpoenas an unauthorized access, then unwanted e-mail is a trespass.’
      • ‘He is suspected of breaking Japanese laws prohibiting unauthorised computer access.’
      • ‘CC Winstone is running its scripts flat out, so any disk accesses will also likely hammer the CPU.’
    4. 1.4as modifier Denoting broadcasting produced by minority and specialist interest groups, rather than by professionals.
      ‘access television’
      • ‘The forum will be aired on local public access television prior to Election Day.’
      • ‘The evolution of access broadcasting has produced a different kind of anxiety.’
  • 2literary in singular An attack or outburst of an emotion.

    ‘I was suddenly overcome with an access of rage’
    • ‘Either a solution has presented itself or I've had an access of strength and energy which has been enough to get me through.’
    • ‘And in the afternoon, we saw a man who had strangled his girlfriend in her parents' house, also in an access of jealousy.’
    fit, attack, bout, outpouring, eruption, explosion, outburst, burst, outbreak, flare-up, blow-up, blaze, spasm, paroxysm, seizure, rush
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • 1Approach or enter (a place)

    ‘single rooms have private facilities accessed via the balcony’
    • ‘The living and dining room are also accessed via steps from the hallway.’
    • ‘The dining room is accessed from this wing via the kitchen.’
    • ‘Mill Lane is accessed through wrought-iron gates flanked by stone pillars.’
    • ‘People are choosing to access the city centre but they are doing it in more sustainable ways, to the benefit of all.’
    • ‘The living room is accessed via a lobby with understairs storage.’
    • ‘150 new jobs are set to be created and the project is also set to reduce congestion, not only on the major motorways accessing the region but also local roads.’
    • ‘This three-bedroom penthouse apartment is on the third floor of a low-level block and is accessed via a private lift.’
    • ‘Secondly you accessed an area which you had no authority to enter.’
    • ‘You may say ‘but they have a right to use these roads to access their fields’.’
    • ‘The site is accessed via the Dunmore Road and is around two miles from the city centre.’
    • ‘The private car park is accessed via remote controlled gates.’
    • ‘The auctioneers expressed satisfaction with the price obtained given the fact that the land was accessed via a lengthy right of way.’
    • ‘All of the apartments are entered via D' Olier Street and are accessed via an impressive marble entrance lobby.’
    • ‘The adjoining family room is accessed via a short flight of steps and can also be entered from the front garden.’
    • ‘People who live on the village's Main Street and part of York Road will be charged to access the grassed areas of common land that front their homes.’
    • ‘People were encouraged to use public transport and the park-and-ride facility at Black Ash to access the city.’
    • ‘A signed diversion route will also be in place for drivers wanting to access the village via the A64.’
    • ‘In addition a large number of people need to access the town centre on a daily basis.’
    • ‘The High Court grants Shell the right to access private lands in the village for the installation of the pipeline.’
    • ‘The school fears the sports pitches would be damaged if the machinery accessed the site via the main school entrance.’
  • 2Obtain or retrieve (computer data or a file)

    ‘information can be accessed from several files and displayed at the same time’
    • ‘I have several people using this computer and would like to know how to access chat files.’
    • ‘This enabled the FBI to find his password to access the encrypted files.’
    • ‘The lack of protection means that e-mails and sensitive computer files can be accessed by hackers using little more than a laptop and an antenna.’
    • ‘The entire network can be accessed from a laptop computer from any mechanical room or from the new building operation command center.’
    • ‘When the user accesses the file, online archiving retrieves that data twice as fast as it was compressed.’
    • ‘The present invention relates to electronic books that are accessed over a computer network, such as the Internet.’
    • ‘If the Linux machine can access the remote files, all archiving is done with the zip command.’
    • ‘When I go to the Macintosh, I can see the Linux server and access any file I want from it.’
    • ‘After glancing at his watch he flipped on the computer and tried to access some old files.’
    • ‘So my poor server is trying to make big changes while lots and lots and lots of people are trying to access it.’
    • ‘Still another advantage of consolidated storage is that the centrally located data can be accessed from other computers.’
    • ‘The benefits of remotely accessing your PC from the road are numerous, but the bottom line is that it enables you to use your computer from the road like you never left home.’
    • ‘A NAS server allows users to access files and images just like a typical network drive.’
    • ‘Also in the menu is the status on Open Files, just showing what files are currently being accessed on the NAS and who is accessing them.’
    • ‘In an attempt to clean out old and/or unnecessary files, I accessed my Winzip files.’
    • ‘Additionally, when a user or application attempts to access an archived file, a time lag occurs.’
    • ‘Therefore, when Windows accesses this file the next time, it must look in multiple locations on your hard drive to retrieve the individual file.’
    • ‘Suppliers also get the benefit of accessing the database to find out what operators are selling in different parts of the country.’
    • ‘For example, today you can access Microsoft file servers with a Samba client.’
    • ‘I activated my small desktop computer and accessed the Official State Dictionary.’
    retrieve, gain, gain access to, acquire, obtain
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense ‘sudden attack of illness’): from Latin accessus, from the verb accedere ‘to approach’ (see accede). access (sense 1 of the noun) is first recorded in the early 17th century.