From Middle English accesse, acces, borrowed from Middle French acces (“attack, onslaught”) or from its source Latin accessus, perfect passive participle of accēdō (“approach; accede”), from ad (“to, toward, at”) + cēdō (“move, yield”). Doublet of accessus. First attested in the early 14th century. The sense "entrance" was first attested about 1380.
access (countable and uncountable, plural accesses)
- (uncountable) A way or means of approaching or entering; an entrance; a passage.
- (uncountable) The act of approaching or entering; an advance.
- (uncountable) The right or ability of approaching or entering; admittance; admission; accessibility.
- (uncountable) The quality of being easy to approach or enter.
c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
I did repel his fetters, and denied His access to me.
2011 September 20, Graeme Paton, “University access plan 'will fail', says Russell Group”, in Telegraph:
Coalition plans to widen access to university will fail to get to the 'root cause' of the problem, according to the Russell Group.
- (uncountable) Admission to sexual intercourse.
- (archaic, countable) An increase by addition; accession
an access of territory
1667, John Milton, “(please specify the book number)”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
I, from the influence of thy looks, receive access in every virtue.
- (countable) An onset, attack, or fit of disease; an ague fit.
1724, [Gilbert] Burnet, [Gilbert Burnet Jr.], editor, Bishop Burnet’s History of His Own Time. […], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: […] Thomas Ward […], OCLC 863504080:
The first access looked like an apoplexy.
1953, Samuel Beckett, Watt, Olympia Press:
Then he resumed the pose, the decent pose, from which the sudden access of his old trouble had startled him, his hands on his knees, […]
- (countable) An outburst of an emotion; a paroxysm; a fit of passion.
1917, Frank L. Packard, chapter 15, in The Adventures of Jimmie Dale:
The Magpie's flashlight, as he shifted it from his right hand to his left and wrenched out his revolver, had fallen upon two men crouched close against the wall by the library door—and he screamed out in an access of fury. "De double cross! A plant! De bulls! You damned snitch, Larry!" screamed out the Magpie—and fired.
- 1946, Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History (Abridgement of Volumes I-VI by D.C. Somervell)
- It appears that, about the middle of the fourth century of the Christian Era, the Germans in the Roman service started the new practice of retaining their native names; and this change of etiquette, which seems to have been abrupt, points to a sudden access of self-confidence and self-assurance in the souls of the barbarian personnel which had previously been content to 'go Roman' without reservations.
- (uncountable, law) The right of a noncustodial parent to visit their child.
- (countable, computing) The process of locating data in memory.
- 2011, Victor Pankratius, Ali-Reza Adl-Tabatabai, Walter Tichy, Fundamentals of Multicore Software Development (page 74)
- Operations on C++ volatiles do put the compiler on notice that the object may be modified asynchronously, and hence are generally safer to use than ordinary variable accesses.
- (uncountable, networking) Connection to or communication with a computer program or to the Internet.
- (uncountable, Scotland) Complicity or assent.
- (outburst, paroxysm): sometimes confused with excess.
way or means of approaching
- Arabic: معبر m (maʿbar), منفذ (ar) m (manfaḏ)
- Armenian: please add this translation if you can
- Belarusian: до́ступ m (dóstup)
- Bulgarian: достъп (bg) m (dostǎp)
- Mandarin: 通路 (zh) (tōnglù)
- Czech: přístup (cs) m
- Danish: indgang (da) c, passage (da) c, vej (da) c
- Dutch: toegang (nl), toegangsweg (nl), passage (nl)
- Esperanto: aliro (eo)
- Estonian: pääs
- Finnish: pääsy (fi)
- French: accès (fr) m
- Galician: acceso m
- German: Zugang (de) m, Eingang (de) m
- Greek: πρόσβαση (el) f (prósvasi)
- Hebrew: גישה (he) (gisha)
- Hungarian: belépés (hu)
- Italian: accesso (it) m
- Khmer: please add this translation if you can
- Latin: aditus (la) m
- Latvian: piekļuve
- Macedonian: достап (dostap), пристап (pristap)
- Malayalam: പ്രവേശനം (ml) (pravēśanaṃ)
- Maltese: aċċess
- Old English: tōgang m, ingang m
- Polish: dostęp (pl) m inan
- Portuguese: acesso (pt) m
- Romanian: acces (ro) n
- Russian: до́ступ (ru) m (dóstup)
- Cyrillic: приступ m, при́лаз m, у̀лаз m
- Roman: pristup (sh) m, prílaz (sh) m, ùlaz (sh) m
- Slovak: prístup m
- Slovene: dostop m
- Somali: marin
- Spanish: acceso (es) m
- Swedish: ingång (sv) c, passage (sv) c, väg (sv) c
- Thai: please add this translation if you can
- Ukrainian: до́ступ m (dóstup)
act of approaching or entering
right or ability of approaching or entering
admission to sexual intercourse
onset, attack or fit of disease
right to visit one's child
computing: process of locating data in memory
communication with a computer program or the Internet
Translations to be checked
access (third-person singular simple present accesses, present participle accessing, simple past and past participle accessed)
- (transitive) To gain or obtain access to.
- (transitive, computing) To have access to (data).
- I can't access most of the data on the computer without a password.
to gain or obtain access to
computing: to have access to (data)
- access in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- access in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- access at OneLook Dictionary Search
- access in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
- “access, n.” in the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries.