Meaning of “accessory” in the English Dictionary

"accessory" in British English

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accessorynoun

uk /əkˈses.ər.i/ us /əkˈses.ər.i/

accessory noun (EXTRA)

C1 [ C usually plural ] something added to a machine or to clothing that has a useful or decorative purpose:

She wore a green wool suit with matching accessories (= shoes, hat, bag, etc.).
Sunglasses are much more than a fashion accessory.

More examples

  • We stock the full range of model railway accessories.
  • Jazz up a classic outfit with some bright accessories.
  • Mum's found a lovely dress for the wedding, but she needs to find some matching accessories.
  • We stock a range of bedroom and bathroom accessories as well as furniture.
  • The kitchen looks better with a coat of paint and a few new accessories.

accessory noun (CRIMINAL)

[ C ] someone who helps another person to commit a crime but does not take part in it:

an accessory to murder
accessory after the fact specialized

someone who helps someone after that person has committed a crime, for example by hiding them from the police

accessory before the fact specialized

someone who helps in the preparation of a crime

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

"accessory" in American English

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accessorynoun

us /ɪkˈses·ə·ri, æk-/

accessory noun (SOMETHING EXTRA)

[ C usually pl ] something extra that improves or completes the thing it is added to:

We sell plants, seeds, fertilizer, and gardening accessories, such as tools and gloves.

accessory noun (CRIMINAL)

[ C ] law someone who helps another person to commit a crime but does not take part in it

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

"accessory" in Business English

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accessorynoun [ C ]

uk /əkˈsesəri/ us plural accessories

[ usually plural ] something extra that improves or completes the thing it is added to:

The store also sells computer accessories, such as cables, batteries, and webcams.
These accessories are designed to enhance driver comfort.
a range of women's fashion accessories
bathroom/home/kitchen accessories
car/cell phone accessories

LAW a person who helps another person to commit a crime but does not take part in it:

He was charged as an accessory to murder.
accessory after the fact

LAW someone who helps a person after they have committed a crime, for example by hiding them from the police

accessory before the fact

LAW someone who helps in the preparation of a crime

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