ac·crue | \ ə-ˈkrü \
accrued; accruing

Definition of accrue 

intransitive verb

1 : to come into existence as a legally enforceable claim

2a : to come about as a natural growth, increase, or advantage the wisdom that accrues with age

b : to come as a direct result of some state or action rewards due to the feminine will accrue to me —Germaine Greer

3 : to accumulate or be added periodically interest accrues on a daily basis

transitive verb

: to accumulate or have due after a period of time accrue vacation time

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Other words from accrue

accruable \-ˈkrü-ə-bəl \ adjective
accruement \-ˈkrü-mənt \ noun

Examples of accrue in a Sentence

I'll get back all the money I invested, plus any interest and dividends that have accrued. investments that have accrued interest and dividends

Recent Examples on the Web

Leicester City plan to offer centre-back Harry Maguire a bumper new contract to fend off any interest accrued from bigger clubs following some stellar World Cup displays., "Leicester Set to Reward Star Defender With New Contract to Ward Off Interest From Other Clubs," 11 July 2018 The moves lifted all but two of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors for the day, helping major indexes pare steep declines accrued earlier in the week. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Gains in Technology, Financial Shares Help Lift Indexes," 28 June 2018 The partnership value is based on Vanguard’s own consideration of gains from the company’s growth during the past year, which can exceed the level of profits accrued by Vanguard customers. Joseph N. Distefano,, "Vanguard boosts employee profit-sharing as assets surge," 8 June 2018 In addition, experts say any tax benefits accrued by the United States could be counteracted by damaging trade outcomes. NBC News, "Trump's policies could have 'severe consequences' worldwide, say global economists," 7 June 2018 The visuals -- which tackle sensitive, pressing subjects, including police brutality and gun control -- also broke all of the musician’s previous YouTube records, accruing more than 50 million views on the platform within days. Rebecca Schiller, Billboard, "Every Childish Gambino Music Video From 2011 to 2018: Watch His Evolution," 30 May 2018 An earlier version of the pension bill had capped benefits at the number of days accrued through July 31, 2018. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Gov. Matt Bevin signs controversial, GOP-crafted pension reform bill into law," 10 Apr. 2018 In 2016, Kavanaugh reported having between $60,000 to $200,000 in debt accrued over three credit cards and a personal loan. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Report: Brett Kavanaugh racked up thousands in debt buying baseball tickets," 12 July 2018 In 2016, Kavanaugh reported having between $60,000 to $200,000 in debt accrued over three credit cards and a personal loan. Washington Post,, "Kavanaugh piled up credit card debt by purchasing Nationals tickets, White House says," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accrue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accrue

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for accrue

Middle English acrewen, acruwen, probably borrowed from Anglo-French *acreue "increase," noun derivative from feminine of acreu, past participle of acreistre "to increase, grow," going back to Latin accrēscere, from ad- ad- + crēscere "to grow" — more at crescent entry 1

Middle French accreue increase, addition to a property, from feminine of accreu, past participle of acreistre to increase

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Statistics for accrue

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accrue

The first known use of accrue was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for accrue



Financial Definition of accrue

What It Is

To accrue is to record revenue and expenses in the periods in which they are incurred. Accruals, the result of accruing, are key components of the accrual method of accounting.

How It Works

Company XYZ must insure one of its buildings. The insurance company bills Company XYZ $600 every six months (one bill in January, the next in July). If each bill is for six months' coverage, then under the accrual method, Company XYZ would not record a $600 expense in January and a $600 expense in July (doing so would mean Company XYZ was using the cash method); it would instead record a $100 expense each month for the whole year. That is, Company would match the expense to the periods in which it is incurred: $100 for January, $100 for February, $100 for March, and so on.

As you can see, accruing recognizes economic events in certain periods regardless of when actual cash transactions occur.

Why It Matters

Although it is more complex, harder to implement and harder to maintain than the cash method of accounting, most analysts agree that accruing provides a more accurate picture of a company's performance. That's because in any given accounting period, revenues are associated with their corresponding expenses, which gives a truer picture of the real costs of producing the revenue in a given period.

Additionally, accruing allows companies to reflect the fact that sales may have been made and expenses incurred even if cash has not changed hands yet (as is often the case with sales made on credit and similar circumstances). This in turn produces financial statements that are comparable over time.

However, one of the big drawbacks of accruing is that it tends to obscure the nature of the company's actual cash position (e.g., a company may show millions in sales but only have $10 in its cash account because its customers haven't paid yet).

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of accrue

: to increase in value or amount gradually as time passes : to grow or build up slowly

: to come to or be given to someone


ac·crue | \ ə-ˈkrü \
accrued; accruing

Legal Definition of accrue 

intransitive verb

1 : to come into existence as an enforceable claim : vest as a right action…does not accrue until the plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known that he may have suffered injuryNational Law Journal

Note: Statutes of limitations begin to run when a cause of action accrues.

2 : to come by way of increase or addition : arise as a growth or result usually used with to or from advantages accruing to society from the freedom of the press interest accrues to the seller as a result of the delay

3 : to be periodically accumulated in the process of time whether as an increase or a decrease the accruing of taxes allowing the receivable interest to accrue

transitive verb

1 : to accumulate or have due after a period of time authorized by law to accrue leave in the maximum amount of 90 days

2 : to enter in the books as an accrual

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Comments on accrue

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