1. the ability, right, or permission to approach, enter, speak with, or use; admittance: They have access to the files.
  2. the state or quality of being approachable: The house was difficult of access.
  3. a way or means of approach: The only access to the house was a rough dirt road.
  4. Theology. approach to God through Jesus Christ.
  5. an attack or onset, as of a disease.
  6. a sudden and strong emotional outburst.
  7. accession.
  8. public-access television.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make contact with or gain access to; be able to reach, approach, enter, etc.: Bank customers can access their checking accounts instantly through the new electronic system.
  2. Computers. to locate (data) for transfer from one part of a computer system to another, generally between an external storage device and main storage.


  1. Television. (of programming, time, etc.) available to the public: Six channels now offer access services.


  1. the act of approaching or entering
  2. the condition of allowing entry, esp (of a building or room) allowing entry by wheelchairs, prams, etc
  3. the right or privilege to approach, reach, enter, or make use of something
  4. a way or means of approach or entry
  5. the opportunity or right to see or approach someoneshe fights for divorce and free access to her children
  6. (modifier) designating programmes made by the general public as distinguished from those made by professional broadcastersaccess television
  7. a sudden outburst or attack, as of rage or disease


  1. to gain access to; make accessible or available
  2. (tr) computing
    1. to obtain or retrieve (information) from a storage device
    2. to place (information) in a storage deviceSee also direct access, sequential access

early 14c., “an attack of fever,” from Old French acces “onslaught, attack; onset (of an illness)” (14c.), from Latin accessus “a coming to, an approach,” noun use of past participle of accedere “approach” (see accede). The later senses are directly from Latin. Meaning “an entrance” is from c.1600. Meaning “habit or power of getting into the presence of (someone or something)” is from late 14c.


1962, originally in computing, from access (n.). Related: Accessed; accessing.


  1. A means of approaching, entering, exiting, or making use of; passage.
  2. The space required to view a tooth and manipulate dental instruments to remove decay and prepare the tooth for restoration.
  3. The opening in the crown of a tooth necessary to allow adequate admittance to the pulp space to clean, shape, and seal the root canal.
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