"You've demonstrated great proficiency in cumulating a collection of excuses," Elise told her employee, "but your energies would be better spent meeting, rather than forcing the revision of, deadlines."
"In its weak form, the hypothesis has been that although speed of processing on any one task may be only weakly correlated with more complex performances, such small differences cumulate over time and tasks." -- From 2011 book The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence, edited by Robert J. Sternberg and Scott Barry Kaufman
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"Cumulate" and its far more common relative "accumulate" both come from the Latin word "cumulare," meaning "to heap up." "Cumulare," in turn, comes from "cumulus," meaning "mass." ("Cumulus" functions as an English word in its own right as well. It can mean "heap" or "accumulation," or it can refer to a kind of dense puffy cloud with a flat base and rounded outlines.) "Cumulate" and "accumulate" overlap in meaning, but you're likely to find "cumulate" mostly in technical contexts. The word's related adjective, "cumulative," however, is used more widely.
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