to confront boldly:
The beggar accosted me for money.
to approach, especially with a greeting, question, or remark.
(of prostitutes, procurers, etc.) to solicit for sexual purposes.
a greeting.
Historical Examples

Everyone who accosts us asks for whisky, which seems to be scarce.
The houseboat book William F. Waugh

If any one accosts you on the road put no trust in any professions.
The Children of the New Forest Captain Marryat

You see a luminous shadow of myself; it haunts, it accosts, it compels you.
A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton

He accosts me, when in the company of friends, with repulsive freedom.
Urban Sketches Bret Harte

Now and then, a little girl or boy, accosts an Englishman in a plaintive tone; but it is merely for the sake of gaping at him.
A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden W. A. Ross

Banquo accosts the strange shapes without the slightest fear.
Shakespearean Tragedy A. C. Bradley

Priam accosts her tenderly; not hers the blame that the gods scourge him in his old age with war.
Studies of the Greek Poets (Vol I of 2) John Addington Symonds

Fraud, too, accosts the angel with a gentle face like Gabriel’s-32- when he said Ave!
Renaissance in Italy: Italian Literature John Addington Symonds

Achates first accosts Aeneas: ‘Goddess-born, what purpose now rises in thy spirit?
The Aeneid of Virgil Virgil

Whereupon he accosts the old gentleman, and presently proposes to throw the dice for another pot.
London Walter Besant

(transitive) to approach, stop, and speak to (a person), as to ask a question, accuse of a crime, solicit sexually, etc
(rare) a greeting

1570s, from Middle French accoster “move up to,” from Italian accostare or directly from Late Latin accostare “come up to the side,” from Latin ad- “to” (see ad-) + costa “rib, side” (see coast (n.)). The original notion is of fleets of warships attacking an enemy’s coast. Related: Accosted; accosting.


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