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First attested in the 1580s. From Middle English accomplice, from a complice, from Old French complice (confederate), from Latin complicare (fold together). The article a became part of the word, through the influence of the word accomplish.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ə.ˈkʌm.plɪs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ə.ˈkɑm.pləs/, /ə.ˈkɑm.plɪs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ac‧com‧plice
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Particularly: "UK"


accomplice (plural accomplices)

  1. (rare) A cooperator.
    • Success unto our valiant general, And happiness to his accomplices! - Shakespeare, Henry VI Part I, V-ii
  2. (law) An associate in the commission of a crime; a participator in an offense, whether a principal or an accessory.
    • And thou, the cursed accomplice of his treason. - Johnson
    • Suspected for accomplice to the fire. - John Dryden

Usage notes[edit]

  • Followed by with or of before a person and by in (or sometimes of) before the crime; as, A was an accomplice with B in the murder of C. Dryden uses it with to before a thing.