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What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
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Old English acomplissen < Old French accomplir (French accomplir) < [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] ad + complere (to fill up, to complete). See also complete, finish.


  • (UK) IPA: /əˈkəm.plɪʃ/, SAMPA: /@"k@m.plIS/
  • (US) IPA: /əˈkɔm.pliʃ/, SAMPA: /@"kOm.pliS/
  • Hyphenation: ac-com'plish


to accomplish

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to accomplish (third-person singular simple present accomplishes, present participle accomplishing, simple past and past participle accomplished)
  1. To finish successfully.
  2. To complete, as time or distance.
    • That He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. - Daniel 9:2
    • He had accomplished half a league or more. - Prescott
  3. To bring to an issue of full success; to effect; to perform; to execute fully; to fulfill; as, to accomplish a design, an object, a promise.
    • This that is written must yet be accomplished in me - Luke 22:37
  4. To equip or furnish thoroughly; hence, to complete in acquirements; to render accomplished; to polish.
    • The armorers accomplishing the knights - Shakespeare, Henry V, IV-chorus
    • It [the moon] is fully accomplished for all those ends to which Providence did appoint it. - Wilkins
    • These qualities . . . go to accomplish a perfect woman. - Cowden Clarke
  5. (obsolete) To gain; to obtain. - Shakespeare



    • Thou shalt accomplish my desire. - 1 Kings 5:9
    • He . . . expressed his desire to see a union accomplished between England and Scotland. - Macaulay
  • To effect (to work out) is much like accomplish. It usually implies some degree of difficulty contended with; as, he effected or accomplished what he intended, his purpose, but little.
    • What he decreed, he effected. - Milton
    • To work in close design by fraud or guile / What force effected not. - Milton
  • To execute (to follow out to the end, to carry out, or into effect) implies a set mode of operation; as, to execute the laws or the orders of another; to execute a work, a purpose, design, plan, project.
  • To perform is much like to do, though less generally applied. It conveys a notion of protracted and methodical effort; as, to perform a mission, a part, a task, a work. *:*Thou canst best perform that office. - Milton
    • The Saints, like stars, around his seat / Perform their courses still. - Keble
  • To achieve (to come to the end or arrive at one's purpose) usually implies some enterprise or undertaking of importance, difficulty, and excellence


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