One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An accomplice or partner in crime; an accessory.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Edward Coke (1552–1634), lawyer, legal writer, and politician. From post-classical Latin particeps criminis from classical Latin particeps participant, accomplice + crīminis, genitive of crīmen crime.
particeps criminis/ˌpɑːtɪsɛps ˈkrɪmɪnɪs/
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