To accost someone means to approach or speak to them in a confrontational, aggressive, or unwelcome way.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Confront, approach, buttonhole, solicit, hail, speak to, address, call out to.


Avoid, ignore, bypass, evade, dodge, sidestep, circumvent, shun.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb accosted, accosting, accost, accosts
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The aggressive man accosted me on the street, demanding money for no apparent reason.

  • The paparazzi would often accost the famous actor as he walked to his car, hoping for a juicy scoop.

  • The pushy salesman accosted the customers as they entered the store, trying to sell them something they didn’t need.

  • As she walked alone down the dimly lit alley, she suddenly felt a hand grab her shoulder, and a stranger with an unsettling grin accosted her, making her heart race with fear and her mind scramble for an escape plan.


The word “accost” is a verb that often implies a negative, aggressive or confrontational approach. People can be accosted in various ways, whether it’s a beggar demanding money, a stranger trying to start a conversation or a pushy salesman trying to make a sale. The word is usually associated with an unwelcome or hostile interaction, which can make people feel uncomfortable or even threatened.

The root of the word “accost” is “cost”, which comes from the Latin “constare” meaning “to stand together.” The prefix “ac-” means “toward”, so “accost” literally means “to stand together towards someone”, which implies a face-to-face interaction. The word “accost” can also be used with a more neutral connotation, such as when a person is simply approaching someone for a friendly or polite reason.

There are various synonyms for “accost” depending on the context, such as “confront” when the interaction is hostile or aggressive, “solicit” when the interaction involves asking for something, or “address” when the interaction is more formal. Antonyms of “accost” include words like “avoid”, “ignore”, and “evade” which imply that the speaker is deliberately avoiding a confrontation or negative interaction.

Overall, the word “accost” is a useful verb when describing any type of direct interaction, whether it’s a positive or negative one. It is important to note that “accost” can have negative connotations, and it is always important to approach others with respect and consideration.