Meaning of “access” in the English Dictionary

"access" in British English

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accessnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈæ us /ˈæ

access noun [ U ] (GETTING NEAR)

B1 the method or possibility of getting near to a place or person:

The only access to the village is by boat.
The main access to (= entrance to) the building is at the side.
The children's father was refused access to them at any time (= refused official permission to see them).

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accessverb [ T ]

uk /ˈæ us /ˈæ


(Definition of “access” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"access" in American English

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accessnoun [ U ]

us /ˈæk·ses/

the method or way of approaching a place or person, or the right to use or look at something:

Without an official pass, the guards will deny you access to (= will not let you enter) the courthouse.

Access to something can also mean the opportunity or ability to use it:

Many of the families do not have access to health care.

accessverb [ T ]

us /ˈæk·ses/

to get information, esp. when using a computer:

People now can access information from the Internet as never before.

(Definition of “access” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"access" in Business English

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accessnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈækses/ us

the right or opportunity to use or receive something:

get/have/provide access to sth Community radio stations have access to public funding.
Everyone is entitled to fair access to employment.

the right or ability to look at documents and information:

allow/grant/give sb access to sth She was granted access to the official archives.
gain access to sth You can gain access to your records via this website.
deny/restrict access to sth They planned to restrict access to their website content with the use of a subscription system.
Merchants have online access to their product data.
Auditors have unrestricted access to all records.

IT the ability to use a system such as the internet, or the way in which you can do this:

access to sth Do you have access to the internet?
Business travellers expect free internet access.

the method or possibility of getting to or entering a place:

access to sth The site has easy access to the motorway.
The premises are equipped for disabled access.

COMMERCE the right or ability to buy and sell goods in a particular country or market:

access to sth Our website gives us access to global markets.

BANKING the right to use a bank account, or to remove money from a bank account or an investment:

access to sth Some accounts allow instant access to your savings.

LAW the legal right to see your child or children, or other family member, especially after a divorce:

access to sb Many fathers go to court to seek access to their children.

accessverb [ T ]

uk /ˈækses/ us

IT to open a computer file or to use a computer system such as the internet:

Many users now access the internet via their mobile phones.
I can access my email remotely.

BANKING to look at a bank account, and be able to move money into or out of it:

You can access your account online or by phone.

to be able to get or use something, especially a service:

We advise staff on how to access appropriate training.

(Definition of “access” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)