the ability, right, or permission to approach, enter, speak with, or use; admittance: They have access to the files.
the state or quality of being approachable: The house was difficult of access.
a way or means of approach: The only access to the house was a rough dirt road.
Theology. approach to God through Jesus Christ.
an attack or onset, as of a disease.
a sudden and strong emotional outburst.
verb (used with object)
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.
Computers. to locate (data) for transfer from one part of a computer system to another, generally between an external storage device and main storage.
Television. (of programming, time, etc.) available to the public: Six channels now offer access services.

1275–1325; Middle English accesse (< Old French acces) < Latin accessus an approach, equivalent to acced-, variant stem of accēdere to accede + -tus suffix of v. action

preaccess, noun

access, assess, excess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
access (ˈæksɛs)
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 someone: she 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 broadcasters: access television
7.  a sudden outburst or attack, as of rage or disease
8.  to gain access to; make accessible or available
9.  (tr) computing
 a.  to obtain or retrieve (information) from a storage device
 b.  direct access See also sequential access to place (information) in a storage device
[C14: from Old French or from Latin accessus an approach, from accēdere to accede]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., "an attack of fever," from O.Fr. acces "onslaught" (14c.), from L. accessus "a coming to, an approach," pp. of accedere "approach" (see accede). Meaning "habit or power of getting into the presence of (someone or something)" is from late 14c. As a verb, first
recorded 1962. Accession "act of coming to a position," especially of a throne, is 1769 (first recorded in Burke).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

access ac·cess (āk'sěs)

  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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Computing Dictionary

Access definition

1. An English-like query language used in the Pick operating system.
2. Microsoft Access.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
For years, newspaper companies have been offering Web access free .
Individual students now pay for subscriptions to any of several major
  digital-book vendors for unlimited access.
Prepaid Internet access is moving into the mainstream.
You download a music player that gives you access to the music.
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