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What is the difference between accompany and escort?

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"Accompany" means to merely be or go with someone. "Escort" has the added meaning of to protect or guide someone.

Why don't you accompany me to my next class so we can finish making plans for tomorrow?

A policewoman escorted the prisoner to court.

Accompany means to go in company with - simply to go together, while escort has implications of providing protection. A synonym for escort would be chaperone.

If you accompany, you go together as equals. If you escort someone, your role is more protective.