accomplice
\ \ [15] This word was borrowed into English (from French) as complice (and complice stayed in common usage until late in the 19th century). It comes from Latin complex, which is related to English complicated, and originally meant simply ‘an associate’, without any pejorative associations. The form accomplice first appears on the scene in the late 15th century (the first record of it is in William Caxton’s Charles the Great), and it probably arose through a misanalysis of complice preceded by the indefinite article (a complice) as acomplice. It may also have been influenced by accomplish or accompany.
\ \ Cf.COMPLICATED

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • accomplice — ac·com·plice /ə käm pləs, kəm / n [alteration (from incorrect division of a complice ) of complice, from Middle French, associate, from Late Latin complic complex partner, confederate]: one who intentionally and voluntarily participates with… …   Law dictionary

  • Accomplice — • A term generally employed to designate a partner in some form of evildoing Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Accomplice     Accomplice      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Accomplice — Ac*com plice, n. [Ac (perh. for the article a or for L. ad) + E. complice. See {Complice}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A cooperator. [R.] [1913 Webster] Success unto our valiant general, And happiness to his accomplices! Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) An… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • accomplice — (n.) 1580s (earlier complice, late 15c.), from O.Fr. complice a confederate, from L.L. complicem (nom. complex) partner, confederate, from L. complicare fold together (see COMPLICATE (Cf. complicate)). With parasitic a on model of accomplish, etc …   Etymology dictionary

  • accomplice — *confederate, accessory, abettor, conspirator …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • accomplice — accomplice, accomplish The standard pronunciation of both words is now kum , not kom …   Modern English usage

  • accomplice — [n] helper, especially in committing a crime abettor, accessory, aid, aide, ally, assistant, associate, co conspirator, collaborator, colleague, confederate, conspirator, insider, partner, plant*, stall*; concept 412 Ant. adversary, enemy,… …   New thesaurus

  • accomplice — ► NOUN ▪ a person who helps another commit a crime. ORIGIN from Latin complex allied …   English terms dictionary

  • accomplice — [ə käm′plis] n. [< ME a complice (the article a is merged, infl. by accomplish) < OFr complice < LL complex: see COMPLICE] a person who knowingly participates with another in an unlawful act; partner in crime SYN. ASSOCIATE …   English World dictionary

  • Accomplice — For other uses, see Accomplice (disambiguation). Criminal law …   Wikipedia

  • accomplice — n. 1) an unwitting accomplice 2) an accomplice in, to (an accomplice in crime) * * * [ə kʌmplɪs] to (an accomplice in crime) an unwitting accomplice an accomplice in …   Combinatory dictionary

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