9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-kawst, uh-kost] /əˈkɔst, əˈkɒst/
verb (used with object)
to confront boldly:
The beggar accosted me for money.
to approach, especially with a greeting, question, or remark.
(of prostitutes, procurers, etc.) to solicit for sexual purposes.
a greeting.
Origin of accost
1570-80; < Late Latin accostāre to be or put side by side. See ac-, coast
Related forms
accostable, adjective
unaccostable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for accost
  • Strangers accost her to wish her luck.
  • Sometimes nonkeys and quadruple-breasted goblins accost his subjects.
  • Daddy taught her how to box, and she once demonstrated her skill by bashing a ruffian who tried to accost her.
  • Lobbyists accost you from all corners.
  • Anyway, advertisers accost our senses enough as it is.
  • See how they accost each other and how they defend themselves.
  • Nevertheless, I was half minded to accost some passer-by and throw myself upon his mercy.
  • If they were resolute to accost her, she laid her finger on the scarlet letter, and passed on.
  • Vases in wild patterns and with colors both muted and brilliant accost the eye.
  • She respected his mood and did not accost him.
British Dictionary definitions for accost


(transitive) to approach, stop, and speak to (a person), as to ask a question, accuse of a crime, solicit sexually, etc
(rare) a greeting
Derived Forms
accostable, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin accostāre to place side by side, from Latin costa side, rib
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 accost

1570s, from Middle French accoster "move up to," from Italian accostare or directly from Late Latin accostare "come up to the side," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + costa "rib, side" (see coast (n.)). The original notion is of fleets of warships attacking an enemy's coast. Related: Accosted; accosting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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