the ability, right, or permission to approach, enter, speak with, or use; admittance:
They have access to the files.
the state or quality of being approachable:
The house was difficult of access.
a way or means of approach:
The only access to the house was a rough dirt road.
Theology. approach to God through Jesus Christ.
an attack or onset, as of a disease.
a sudden and strong emotional outburst.
to make contact with or gain access to; be able to reach, approach, enter, etc.:
Bank customers can access their checking accounts instantly through the new electronic system.
Computers. to locate (data) for transfer from one part of a computer system to another, generally between an external storage device and main storage.
Television. (of programming, time, etc.) available to the public:
Six channels now offer access services.
Contemporary Examples

What access to communications would they be given during quarantine?
Are Mandatory Ebola Quarantines Legal? Tim Mak October 27, 2014

The triumph of access over ownership has changed the way we think about rights.
How Young People Are Destroying Liberty James Poulos October 10, 2014

She has cut off access to her passwords and no longer will give her money directly.
Mothers Who Drag Their Daughters Down Soledad O’Brien March 10, 2013

Now, she had commandeered the feed away from the unknown number of Occupy community members who previously had access.
The Champagne Tranarchist Who Hijacked Occupy’s Twitter Feed Nina Strochlic February 14, 2014

This means your smartphone now has access to all of your music, wherever you are.
Apple’s iCloud Triumph Dan Lyons June 1, 2011

Historical Examples

Did any one have access to your offices during your absence from the city?
The Lost Despatch Natalie Sumner Lincoln

Where can I have access to old files of the leading news-papers?
Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 8, May 21, 1870 Various

We could have had locations more fertile and more easy of access, but more exposed to the slave-power.
The Underground Railroad William Still

His martyrdom was continued by forbidding him all access to the healing waters.
The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad

His personal knowledge on the subject, and his access to valuable unpublished documents, give it authoritative value.
Library of the World’s Best literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 12 Various

the act of approaching or entering
the condition of allowing entry, esp (of a building or room) allowing entry by wheelchairs, prams, etc
the right or privilege to approach, reach, enter, or make use of something
a way or means of approach or entry
the opportunity or right to see or approach someone: she fights for divorce and free access to her children
(modifier) designating programmes made by the general public as distinguished from those made by professional broadcasters: access television
a sudden outburst or attack, as of rage or disease
to gain access to; make accessible or available
(transitive) (computing)

to obtain or retrieve (information) from a storage device
to place (information) in a storage device See also direct access, sequential access


early 14c., “an attack of fever,” from Old French acces “onslaught, attack; onset (of an illness)” (14c.), from Latin accessus “a coming to, an approach,” noun use of past participle of accedere “approach” (see accede). The later senses are directly from Latin. Meaning “an entrance” is from c.1600. Meaning “habit or power of getting into the presence of (someone or something)” is from late 14c.

1962, originally in computing, from access (n.). Related: Accessed; accessing.

access ac·cess (āk’sěs)

A means of approaching, entering, exiting, or making use of; passage.

The space required to view a tooth and manipulate dental instruments to remove decay and prepare the tooth for restoration.

The opening in the crown of a tooth necessary to allow adequate admittance to the pulp space to clean, shape, and seal the root canal.

1. An English-like query language used in the Pick operating system.
2. Microsoft Access.
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

Read Also:

  • Access broker

    a lobbyist or public-relations executive who was formerly a political figure or otherwise has connections to high officials in a governmental administration.

  • Accessary

    (defs 3, 6). Historical Examples Yet, sir, I fear your fatal openness will make you suspected as accessary, let us be ever so cautious. Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded Samuel Richardson “An accessary, both before and after the fact,” he repeated to himself. Forging the Blades Bertram Mitford Marables was indicted for having been an accessary […]

  • Access charge

    a fee charged to long-distance telephone companies and their customers by a local telephone company for use of its lines. noun a fee for the use of a service, esp. computer, communication, or other network facilities Examples There will be a network access charge to the service providers. Usage Note computing

  • Access code

    a code, as of numbers or letters, that is entered into a computer, telephone, or telecommunications network so as to access a particular service.

  • Access control list

    access control list networking (ACL) A list of the services available on a server, each with a list of the hosts permitted to use the service. (1994-11-08)

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