Definition of accessory in English:


nounPlural accessories

  • 1A thing which can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.

    ‘optional accessories include a battery charger and shoulder strap’
    • ‘Carpets, floor liners or floor mats are among the most useful car accessories.’
    • ‘Folder is a new range of toolbar and slat wall accessories which include paper and telephone trays.’
    • ‘Try to choose bathroom accessories that complement the color of the walls.’
    • ‘Other accessories include remote-control headphones and - crucially - a battery pack.’
    • ‘They can then add optional extras and accessories to their car.’
    • ‘Its docking station is a useful accessory that recharges the camera's battery when it's not transferring shots to the computer.’
    • ‘The centre will sell everything from garden plants to household accessories and includes a restaurant.’
    • ‘The even better news is that bathroom accessories can be spray painted in the same colour for a co-ordinated look.’
    • ‘Its accessories include the necessary hoses, wands, nozzles, hydrant adapters and an injector.’
    • ‘Among the many useful accessories in a car, truck, SUV or van are the mud guards.’
    • ‘Shops may offer a range of accessories or even extended warranties that can be worth a fair bit.’
    • ‘Purchasers will have the option of fitted baths while there will be extra large shower cubicles as well as a full range of bathroom accessories.’
    • ‘It has a good selection of optional accessories including a Bluetooth headset and the loop set that allows you to use the phone with a suitable hearing aid.’
    • ‘Motorola has designed quite a lot of useful accessories around its T720i mobile phone.’
    • ‘And if you want the comfort of typing with a full-size keyboard, you can easily add one as an optional accessory.’
    • ‘The bathroom accessories department reminded me that I hadn't washed anything for a few weeks, so I'd better buy a fluffy white bath towel.’
    • ‘Inkjet Printables provides tons of useful information on inkjet accessories and other inkjet items.’
    • ‘To motorists, it's a useful accessory that allows them to talk without driving off the road.’
    • ‘It also offers a very broad range of accessories including batteries, headsets, add-ons and clip-ons.’
    • ‘In addition to building materials, the group also sells bathroom suites and accessories to trade suppliers and the public.’
    attachment, extra, addition, add-on, retrofit, adjunct, appendage, appurtenance, component, additional component, fitment, supplement
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    1. 1.1 A small article or item of clothing carried or worn to complement a garment or outfit.
      ‘she wore the suit with perfectly matching accessories—hat, bag, shoes’
      • ‘I would like to use the same accessories and shoes with each dress.’
      • ‘She arrived at Rufforth airfield on a flight from Heathrow and wore a turquoise suit with matching hat and black accessories for the occasion.’
      • ‘I also ran around taking a few pics of the models that were showcasing the designers gowns, and hair accessories.’
      • ‘These will be used by consumers to store favourite special garments, footwear and accessories.’
      • ‘Victoria Beckham, meanwhile, is promising to launch her own range of clothes and accessories in 2004.’
      • ‘As gold is the colour to be seen in right now, accessories include sparkly sequined bags, cuffs, belts and kitten heels.’
      • ‘Money cannot buy style, but it can buy you the following chic garments and accessories.’
      • ‘The teacher looked all fancy with his completely brown outfit and silver accessories.’
      • ‘He shops for many of his outfits on the Internet, where he says there are a wide range of authentic outfits and matching accessories for sale.’
      • ‘The women have to purchase expensive gowns and matching accessories to keep up with expectations.’
      • ‘Limit your accessories and do remember to match your shoes as well!’
      • ‘A source said: ‘Jennifer thought it would be fun and unusual to extend the range of accessories to animals’.’
      • ‘Do they also carry bridal accessories, like hair decorations, veils and shoes?’
      • ‘Conversely, there has been a sharp decline in the use of gloves as fashion accessories over the past several decades.’
      • ‘When you buy a new dress, be sure you have shoes and other accessories to go with it.’
      • ‘The gold bangles and thick hoop earrings she wore were the perfect accessories to the outfit.’
      • ‘Apart from hats, the must-have accessory was a designer handbag, with Louis Vuitton coming out in front of Gucci and Dior as the label to tote.’
      • ‘There will also be her fantastic range of accessories including shell necklaces and natural raffia bags and baskets to add a touch of style to any outfit.’
      • ‘Keep the clothes to three basic colors if you want your accessories to match with your wardrobe.’
      • ‘In addition, you can use scarves and accessories to give each outfit a whole new look.’
      adornment, embellishment, finery, trimming, ornament, ornamentation, decoration, complement, fashion detail, frill
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  • 2Law
    Someone who gives assistance to the perpetrator of a crime without taking part in it.

    ‘she was charged as an accessory to murder’
    • ‘In 1828 Curr tried to charge one of his superintendents with being an accessory to murder after one of his convict servants had killed an Aboriginal woman.’
    • ‘The accessory to murder charges remain in force, along with a charge of membership in a terrorist organization.’
    • ‘In addition to the 3,066 counts of accessory to murder, he was convicted of five counts of accessory to attempted murder and accessory to causing bodily injury.’
    • ‘And should she thus be punished in the same way as the actual murderers, as an accessory to the crime?’
    • ‘Intruders and accessories to crime, we had our voyeuristic detachment demolished twice over.’
    • ‘And when will there be a law that will hold a bank guilty as accessory to theft from the Namibian public?’
    • ‘The police begin investigating him as an accessory to the murder, for having plotted and planned it with the killer.’
    • ‘The defendant is not charged with having received trust moneys for his own benefit, but with having acted as an accessory to a breach of trust.’
    • ‘Everyone present at that court was an accessory to the crime of the century.’
    • ‘She was an accessory to murder, and her son was a witness to it.’
    • ‘How does an ordinary, obedient child of the 1950s and a beneficiary of the economic miracle of that era turn into a terrorist, an accessory to murder?’
    • ‘The 29-year-old Moroccan had been found guilty on more than 3,000 counts of being an accessory to murder and of being a member of a terrorist organisation.’
    • ‘Today had turned out to be a pretty uneventful day until I discovered a few minutes ago that I'm quite possibly an accessory to murder.’
    • ‘Now today, I would be an accessory to a robbery, but in those days I really did not care all that much.’
    • ‘Has it been closed down, and its landlord charged with being an accessory to murder?’
    • ‘At the very least their actions make them an accessory to crime.’
    • ‘He said paying compensation for vehicles with varying declared value for duty at ZRA and the insured value would render the corporation an accessory to the crime of tax evasion.’
    • ‘As a result the clan stalwart and laird was tried by a jury of Campbells and, not surprisingly, was convicted as an accessory to the murder.’
    • ‘He couldn't stay here and be an accessory to murder and theft.’
    • ‘Addicted to heroin at 18, she has been in and out of jail since then, the first time for accessory to armed robbery to feed her habit.’
    accomplice, partner in crime, abetter, associate, confederate, collaborator, fellow conspirator, henchman, conniver
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  • Contributing to or aiding an activity or process in a minor way; subsidiary or supplementary.

    ‘functionally the maxillae are a pair of accessory jaws’
    • ‘The male reproductive system contains four pairs of accessory glands, the most prominent of which are the tightly coiled spiral accessory glands.’
    • ‘Mesogastric, urogastric, cardiac, and intestinal lobes disposed in a longitudinal, continous band, flanked by accessory lobes.’
    • ‘In addition, Tetragonocrinus has tetragonally positioned accessory canals along the column.’
    • ‘It later appears as the hyomandibular, an accessory jaw element.’
    • ‘Cytokines are examples of these accessory signals.’
    • ‘The gradual prolongation of the AH interval (decremental conduction) is a feature that rarely occurs in accessory pathway conduction.’
    • ‘The integument is composed of the skin, which covers the entire body, in addition to accessory organs derived from skin.’
    • ‘The pathway can be situated anywhere around the groove between the atria and ventricles, and in 10% of cases more than one accessory pathway exists.’
    • ‘A zygomatic bone may also be tripartite, possessing extra sutures and accessory bones.’
    • ‘To determine the severity of dyspnea, carefully observe respiratory effort, use of accessory muscles, mental status, and ability to speak.’
    • ‘Her interest was in the ‘B’ or accessory chromosomes of corn, a project in which Randolph had an interest much earlier.’
    • ‘Small testes and large accessory glands characterize species with singly mated queens, whereas the opposite is found in species with multiply mated queens.’
    • ‘Changing the phosphorylation state of the CTD is one mechanism by which binding of accessory proteins to the CTD of pol II may be regulated.’
    • ‘The lateral approach provides an excellent view of the splenic vessels, pancreas, and accessory spleens.’
    • ‘This allowed us to test whether the delay in time to sexual maturity was associated with reduced size of the testes or accessory glands in day 36 sugar-fed males.’
    • ‘B to have inflated inner accessory lobes and short posterior platforms in addition to the more typical forms.’
    • ‘The ability of DNA polymerases to replicate DNA requires a number of additional accessory proteins.’
    • ‘A thorough search for accessory spleens is an important step for patients who have hematologic disease (ie, SCD).’
    • ‘Third, despite the loss of its own lens, the cavefish eye and accessory tissues have retained the ability to respond to signals generated by a normal surface fish lens.’
    • ‘Population genetic investigation of accessory gland protein genes has previously focused on D. melanogaster and D. simulans.’
    additional, extra, supplementary, supplemental, auxiliary, ancillary, secondary, subsidiary, supportive, assisting, reserve, complementary, further, more, add-on
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  • accessory after the fact

    • dated A person who knowingly aids someone who has committed an arrestable offence.

      • ‘Those who knowingly harbor - that is shelter, protect, hide, or conceal these war criminals from being caught - in effect become accessories after the fact.’
      • ‘One was, firstly, whether the offender or the accused was indeed a primary offender; secondly, whether he was guilty of being an accessory after the fact.’
      • ‘Not guilty of being an accessory after the fact?’
      • ‘McConnell's wife was later arrested as an accessory after the fact.’
      • ‘It could not have been found by the jury on the balance of probabilities that Verebes was a principal or accessory before the fact to the applicant's offending.’
      • ‘That is why under our [that is, US] Federal Law all distinctions between accomplices, between accessories before the fact and accessories after the fact, have been completely eliminated.’
      • ‘On the weekend before I left, Mark was arrested for the murders and his wife was arrested as an accessory after the fact.’
      • ‘Justice Benjamin also did not entertain a lesser charge of accessory after the fact, which he said was introduced too late in the proceedings.’
      • ‘Those who aided the commission of crime but were not present at the scene of the crime were regarded as accessories before the fact or principals in the third degree.’
      • ‘Well, he is liable, as was pointed out, to a number of other offences: accessory after the fact, destroying a motor car, theft of a motor car and various others - you could throw the book at him for the other offences.’
      • ‘McConnell was arrested as an accessory to murder after the fact.’
      • ‘As the Attorney General's Office must be well aware, and the report confirms, the Church has been an accessory after the fact for decades and still is.’
      • ‘His live-in girlfriend was charged as an accessory after the fact to murder.’
      • ‘He said: ‘A wife could not be convicted of being an accessory after the fact for a felony committed by her husband.’’
      • ‘Wasn't everyone in that dressing room therefore guilty by association - ‘accessories before the fact’ as lawyers might say?’
      • ‘I didn't reveal my earlier transgressions so as not to make him an accessory after the fact.’
      • ‘Did they want them to be accessories after the fact?’
      • ‘Jay is very shocked, but now he's implicated - an accessory before the fact - and he has no option but to talk it out with Ben.’
      • ‘I was charged as an accessory before the fact because of what he told me.’
      • ‘Though Crippen was hanged for his wife's murder, Ethel's prosecution as an accessory after the fact in a subsequent trial was half-hearted and resulted in her acquittal.’
  • accessory before the fact

    • dated A person who incites or assists someone to commit an arrestable offence.

      • ‘Your Honour, that is so, with respect, but there is also section 236 of the Customs Act, which is a separate accessorial offence.’
      • ‘The Law Commission should return to this subject as a matter of urgency, and should recommend one of these radical approaches to accessorial criminal liability.’
      • ‘To seek to distinguish pre-planned violence from spontaneous violence will give rise to inane discussions as to the relative meanings of spontaneous and pre-planned which are irrelevant to the question of accessorial liability.’
      • ‘They could be patrimonial things or extra-patrimonial things; common things or sacred things; principal things or accessorial things; corporeal things or incorporeal things.’
      • ‘The Full Court erred in finding it to be an essential element of the accessorial liability… that the alleged accessory be aware that the conduct of the principal was misleading or deceptive.’
      • ‘The Crown has told the jury, we say, quite properly, that for accessorial liability, they must know the essential facts.’
      • ‘The increase of accessorial crests and cuspules in the cheek teeth of primates has been correlated with the increase of the vegetarian component of the diet.’
      • ‘We have recipient liability and we also have accessorial liability.’
      • ‘Numerous accessorial crests and cuspules confer a reticulated aspect to the teeth.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin accessorius ‘additional thing’, from Latin access- ‘increased’, from the verb accedere (see accede).