Colleague is used always in a good sense, associate and coadjutor generally
so; ally, assistant, associate, attendant, companion, helper, either in a
good or a bad sense; abetter, accessory, accomplice, confederate, almost always in a
Ally is often used of national and military matters, or of some other connection regarded as great
and important; as, allies of despotism.
Colleague is applied to civil and ecclesiastical connections; members of Congress from the same
State are colleagues, even though they may be bitter opponents politically and personally.
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court is near in rank to the Chief Justice. A
surgeon's assistant is a physician or medical student who shares in the treatment and care of patients;
a surgeon's attendant is one who rolls bandages and the like.
Follower, henchman, retainer are persons especially devoted to a chief, and generally
bound to him by necessity, fee, or reward.
Partner has come to denote almost exclusively a business connection. In law, an
abettor (the general legal spelling) is always present, either actively or constructively, at the
commission of the crime; an accessory never. An accomplice is usually a principal; an
If present, though only to stand outside and keep watch against surprise, one is an abettor, and not an
At common law, an accessory implies a principal, and can not be convicted until after the conviction
of the principal; the accomplice or abettor can be convicted as a principal.
Accomplice and abettor have nearly the same meaning, but the former is the popular, the
latter more distinctively the legal term.