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[uh-kom-plis] /əˈkɒm plɪs/
a person who knowingly helps another in a crime or wrongdoing, often as a subordinate.
Origin of accomplice
late Middle English
1475-85; a(c) of unclear orig. + late Middle English complice < Middle French < Medieval Latin complici- (stem of complex) partner; see complex
Can be confused
accomplice, accomplish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for accomplice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His constant run of good fortune was the accomplice of his immorality.

    History of the Girondists, Volume I Alphonse de Lamartine
  • "One of them is; the other is an accomplice after the fact," I replied.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • Returning to his seat, the accomplice is called into the room and handed the sheet of paper.

  • Though Cornwood was only an accomplice after the fact, he was the greater villain of the two.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • They were there to arrest him, for killing one of their comrades on the night before, or being an accomplice in the act!

    The Bandolero Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for accomplice


/əˈkɒmplɪs; əˈkʌm-/
a person who helps another in committing a crime
Word Origin
C15: from a complice, interpreted as one word. See complice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for accomplice

1580s (earlier complice, late 15c.), from Old French complice "a confederate," from Late Latin complicem (nominative complex) "partner, confederate," from Latin complicare "fold together" (see complicate). With parasitic a- on model of accomplish, etc., or perhaps by assimilation of indefinite article in phrase a complice.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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