V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: to approach and speak to somebody, often in a challenging or aggressive way

Synonyms: confront, affront, approach, proposition, solicit

Antonyms: avoid, elude, evade

Tips: Accost is derived from the Latin word accostare, “to adjoin,” from costa, “rib or side.” The underlying sense is “to be alongside.” If you come up "alongside" someone in a rather aggressive or threatening way, you are accosting them. Accost usually refers to approaching and talking to someone abruptly and in a surprising way. Accost can refer simply to approaching someone to talk, but it usually refers to approaching someone and verbally attacking or threatening the person: "He accosted me in the lobby and called me a liar." Accost can also refer to approaching someone regarding sexual favors: "I was accosted by the prostitute as I walked down the street."

Usage Examples:

John had been trying to avoid Terry all week, but she finally accosted him in the hallway. (approached, confronted)

I was rather surprised when she accosted me about helping her with the fundraiser; she could have asked me politely. (confronted, solicited)

I'm terrified of being accosted by a stranger, so I try not to walk alone at night. (affronted, confronted)

The door-to-door salesman accosted me just as I was on my way out. (solicited, propositioned, approached)

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