accretionary hypothesis


Definition of accretionary hypothesis

: any explanation of the origin of the earth that involves the hypothesis of gradual growth by the gravitational infall of solid bodies (as asteroids, planetesimals, or meteorites) — compare planetesimal hypothesis

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of accretionary hypothesis

1905, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about accretionary hypothesis

Time Traveler for accretionary hypothesis

Time Traveler

The first known use of accretionary hypothesis was in 1905

See more words from the same year

Statistics for accretionary hypothesis

Cite this Entry

“Accretionary hypothesis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

Comments on accretionary hypothesis

What made you want to look up accretionary hypothesis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!