June 23, 2013
access (verb)
\AK-sess\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to get at : gain access to
How do you use it?
"He's in the computer. We just can't access his records. It's like they've fallen through a hole in cyberspace." (Louis Sachar, _Holes_)
Are you a word wiz?

The noun "access," which most commonly is used to mean "permission or power to enter, approach, or make use of," has been part of the English language for over 600 years. The verb "access," however, is much newer. When do you think the verb "access" first started to be used?

Though the noun "access" goes back to the 1300s, making it over 600 years old, the earliest evidence of the verb "access" in the Merriam-Webster files is from the early 1960s. At first the verb was used as we used it in the example sentence: to talk about getting at something in a computer, file, etc. Now it's used more generally. So what other words came on the scene around the same time as the verb use of "access"? A bunch, including "cruise control," "junk food," "salsa," "byte," "phat," and "glitch."
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