accessary, accessory
These two words come by different routes from the same Latin source of our word accede. In AmE, accessory is dominant both as a noun and as an adjective, and it has fast become so now in BrE, although accessary is still used occasionally (where before it was used invariably) as a term in law in both varieties. But -ory is preferable in all meanings:

• As the one person who knew of their illegalities I felt I was becoming an accessory after the fact —S. Unwin, 1960

• If he buried the captain, as he says, he's an accessory —R. Macdonald, 1971

• Accessory ideas associated with the principal idea —M. Cohen, 1977.

• An accessory role is played by another cellular enzyme —Health news release, AmE 2005 [OEC].

As a noun, accessory has become widely used in the 20c to refer to smaller articles of dress (gloves, handbag, etc.) or the extras in a motor vehicle (fog-lights, radio, etc.).

• Accessories…may be considered essential to an outfit. —Alison Lurie, 1981.

• Since September 11th, the emphasis has changed from using the flag as a fashion accessory to using it to show solidarity as a country —weblog, AmE 2003 [OEC].

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Accessary — Ac*ces sa*ry (277), n.; pl. {Accessaries}. [Cf. {Accessory} and LL. accessarius.] (Law) One who, not being present, contributes as an assistant or instigator to the commission of an offense. [1913 Webster] {Accessary before the fact} (Law), one… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Accessary — Ac*ces sa*ry (#; 277), a. Accompanying, as a subordinate; additional; accessory; esp., uniting in, or contributing to, a crime, but not as chief actor. See {Accessory}. [1913 Webster] To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • accessary — var of accessory Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • accessary — [ak ses′ər ē, əkses′ər ē] adj., n. pl. accessaries ACCESSORY …   English World dictionary

  • accessary — noun see accessory I …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • accessary — accessarily, adv. accessariness, n. /ak ses euh ree/, n., pl. accessaries, adj. Chiefly Law. accessory (defs. 3, 6). * * * …   Universalium

  • accessary — 1. noun Someone who accedes to some act, now especially a crime; one who contributes as an assistant or instigator to the commission of an offense. 2. adjective Accompanying as a subordinate; additional; accessory; especially, uniting in, or… …   Wiktionary

  • accessary — (esp. BE) see accessory1, 2 * * * [ək ses(ə)rɪ] (esp. BE) see accessory 1,2 …   Combinatory dictionary

  • accessary — n. aide; addition; one who helps commit a crime …   English contemporary dictionary

  • accessary — noun & adjective variant spelling of accessory …   English new terms dictionary

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