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Accordance is one of those words that almost never stands on it’s own. I don’t know if it’s an extrovert or if it’s just nervous about possibly bumping up against some of the seedier words in the English language, but it is almost always seen in the company of in and with.

In accordance with means in agreement with or following the form or rules laid out by whatever it is in accordance with. For example, you might hear an executor say, “In accordance with the deceased’s wishes as spelled out in his will, his ashes will be scattered over a buxom starlet who, in return for agreeing to have his ashes spread over her, will inherit all his wealth. I will be accepting applications from starlets in my bedroom.”

Yeah, yeah. I know. I have an active and creative, but sick fantasy life. But enough about me.

Accordance can also mean the act of bestowing something, but not all dictionaries agree that that is a valid definition. If you are willing to accept this meaning, an example of its use might be, “In many countries there is an accordance of the right to act like a complete imbecile, such as a person who would write the aforementioned will.”

However, as I mentioned, be warned, not all lexicographers agree that the latter definition of accordance exists in English. Those who don’t might heckle you if you use accordance in this way. Then again, they’re only lexicographers, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

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