Definition of accost in English:


See synonyms for accost

Translate accost into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Approach and address (someone) boldly or aggressively.

    ‘reporters accosted him in the street’
    • ‘he was accosted by a thief, demanding his money or his life’
    • ‘A few minutes ago he was accosted by reporters after locking horns with the Prime Minister during question period.’
    • ‘As she got off the plane in Belgium, she was accosted by reporters asking if she was taking anabolic steroids.’
    • ‘I am walking speedily along New York's Fifth Avenue when this elegant stranger accosts me, grabs my arm in a vice-like grip and hisses, ‘Where did you get that pin?’’
    • ‘But before she spoke Ms Morris was accosted by a placard-waving group of about 20 protesters demanding that they should be paid all year round, not just in term time.’
    • ‘His story begins in 1972 when Douglas was accosted at a bus stop in Edinburgh by two bolshie 12-year-olds.’
    • ‘Once aboard, to his fugitive embarrassment, he is accosted by a young girl he vaguely remembers.’
    • ‘Everybody can stop e-mailing, IMing, and accosting me on the street: I had absolutely nothing to do with this.’
    • ‘Earlier in the morning, jockey Walter Cullum accosted King while the latter spoke with reporters.’
    • ‘The larger London department stores are moving away from your more traditional Grotto based lap-sitting experiences and towards a more drive-by Santa encounter where the failed beardy actor accosts you on the shop floor.’
    • ‘You're strolling absent-mindedly down Coney Street, minding your own business and glancing idly at the displays in shop windows, when an officious little man in a yellow reflective jacket pops out of nowhere and accosts you.’
    • ‘I walk into a house in one of the towns and an old man accosts me ‘Hi there young man.’’
    • ‘I recall accosting some rowdy teenagers outside my house: my few cautionary words were met with a hail of stones, too small to injure but enough to frighten and humiliate.’
    • ‘I considering accosting a hapless victim in the produce department.’
    • ‘I do, however, have a problem with people accosting me on the street and begging me in their particularly weird way to donate money to African babies.’
    • ‘More recently, we've seen six-foot koalas accosting political leaders and asking in depth questions on real issues.’
    • ‘It won't be long now until it will be no longer safe to walk the streets, without hoards of mad students in tartan trousers and kaftans accosting you with home made fliers.’
    • ‘Making my way through the train I was accosted by a very angry woman.’
    • ‘As he accosted parents outside a school in Rotherhithe with a final piece of canvassing yesterday afternoon, he predicted his party would get the most seats since 1923 and the biggest share of the vote since 1983.’
    • ‘THERE'S (yet another) famous family story about the time my parents went to a neighbourhood party and a woman accosted my mother over the punchbowl, raving about what a good listener my father was.’
    • ‘Examing the display outside of my chosen shop, I was accosted by some youths, of thirteen years or so, who desired that I bought some fireworks on their behalf, a transaction I declined.’
    • ‘It's not that I make a habit of accosting MPs in health food shops, it's just that I mistakenly believed I knew him.’
    speak to, talk to, call to, shout to, hail, initiate a discussion with
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/əˈkôst/ /əˈkɔst/ /əˈkäst/ /əˈkɑst/


Late 16th century (originally in the sense ‘lie or go alongside’): from French accoster, from Italian accostare, from Latin ad- ‘to’ + costa ‘rib, side’.