Definition of accroach in US English:



rare, historical
  • 1with object To draw to oneself, catch, attract, acquire. In later use: specifically to assume (the prerogative of power) from another, to usurp.

  • 2with object With to (also †toward) (oneself). To seize or appropriate (what is not one's own); to usurp (authority or jurisdiction).

  • 3no object To encroach upon (especially land or authority).


Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Gower (d. 1408), poet. From Anglo-Norman and Middle French acrocher, accrocher, Middle French acrochier to draw (something) to oneself, to catch (something) using a hook or hooks, to arrogate, encroach, usurp (property or power to oneself) from Anglo-Norman and Old French a- + croc, croche hook, of Germanic origin. Compare post-classical Latin accrochare, accrochiare, both from French.