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accessary (plural accessaries)

  1. (law) Someone who accedes to some act, now especially a crime; one who contributes as an assistant or instigator to the commission of an offense.

Derived termsEdit



accessary (comparative more accessary, superlative most accessary)

  1. (law) Accompanying as a subordinate; additional; accessory; especially, uniting in, or contributing to, a crime, but not as chief actor. See accessory.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Shakespeare, Richard III, I-iii:
      To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Milton, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Amongst many secondary and accessary causes that support monarchy, these are not of least reckoning.

Usage notesEdit

  • "This word, as used in law, is spelt accessory by Blackstone and many others; but in this sense is spelt accessary by Bouvier, Burrill, Burns, Whishaw, Dane, and the Penny Cyclopedia; while in other senses it is spelt accessory. In recent text-books on criminal law the distinction is not preserved, the spelling being either accessary or accessory." - Webster, 1913. Since that time this trend has accelerated.