noun, plural ac·ces·so·ries.
- a subordinate or supplementary part, object, or the like, used mainly for convenience, attractiveness, safety, etc., as a spotlight on an automobile or a lens cover on a camera.
- an article or set of articles of dress, as gloves, earrings, or a scarf, that adds completeness, convenience, attractiveness, etc., to one’s basic outfit.
- Also called accessory before the fact.a person who, though not present during the commission of a felony, is guilty of having aided and abetted another, who committed the felony.
- Also called accessory after the fact.a person who knowingly conceals or assists another who has committed a felony.Compare principal(def 9b).
- Anatomy. accessory nerve.
- contributing to a general effect; supplementary; subsidiary.
- Law. giving aid as an accessory.
- Petrography. (of a mineral) being present in small amounts in a rock and having no bearing on the classification of the rock, as zircon in granite.
noun plural -ries
- a supplementary part or object, as of a car, appliance, etc
- (often plural) a small accompanying item of dress, esp of women’s dress
- a person who incites someone to commit a crime or assists the perpetrator of a crime, either before or during its commission
- supplementary; additional; subordinate
- assisting in or having knowledge of an act, esp a crime
also accessary, early 15c. as a legal term in the criminal sense of “one aiding in a crime;” also “that which is subordinate to something else,” from Late Latin accessorius, from accessor, agent noun from accedere (see access (n.)). Attested from 1896 as “woman’s smaller articles of dress,” hence accessorize.
1550s, “subordinate,” from Late Latin accessorius, from accessor, agent noun from accedere (see access (n.)). Meaning “aiding in crime” is from c.1600.
- Having a secondary, supplementary, or subordinate function.