ac·cu·mu·late | \ ə-ˈkyü-m(y)ə-ˌlāt \
accumulated; accumulating

Definition of accumulate 

transitive verb

: to gather or pile up especially little by little : amass accumulate a fortune

intransitive verb

: to increase gradually in quantity or number snow accumulating to a depth of several feet

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Examples of accumulate in a Sentence

Evidence of his guilt is accumulating. the number of complaints about that mail order firm is really accumulating

Recent Examples on the Web

The south coast side eventually avoided relegation, after Mark Hughes accumulated eight points from eight games, but Pellegrino's struggles will live on in the minds of Southampton fans., "Mauricio Pellegrino Aiming to Avoid Southampton Mistakes After Signing 1-Year Leganes Contract," 13 July 2018 Gaines captioned the photo, which has accumulated 545,000 likes as of Friday evening. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "'Fixer Upper' star Chip Gaines shares close-up photo of 3-week-old son Crew: 'My heart is full'," 13 July 2018 Scottsdale has been accumulating land in its preserve for nearly a quarter century. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Hiker alert: 3 trailheads getting upgrades in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve," 13 July 2018 Meanwhile, the Isle Casino is about to shed more than 50 years of relics from parties past that have been accumulating at the old grandstand building. Anne Geggis,, "Florida's last harness racing track revels in decades of memories," 12 July 2018 Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said, after 2030, the money accumulated from the increase will funnel into the ARR fund for use on ballpark improvements. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros have plans for future improvements to Minute Maid Park," 10 July 2018 The Urban Forestry Administration in Washington, DC, has used the new map to determine where to plant trees by searching the district for areas without tree cover where standing water accumulates. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 2018 Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.​ ​​​​​​Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Naseem S. Miller,, "Orange County issues advisory for mosquito-borne disease," 3 July 2018 And the chemicals are known to bioaccumulate, meaning they are absorbed into the tissue of fish and accumulate over time. Peter Fimrite,, "Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accumulate.' 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 accumulate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for accumulate

borrowed from Latin accumulātus, past participle of accumulāre "to heap up, add to, increase," from ad- ad- + cumulāre "to gather into a heap" — more at cumulate

Note: In part a Latinization of Middle French accumuler.

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for accumulate

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

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English Language Learners Definition of accumulate

: to gather or acquire (something) gradually as time passes

: to increase gradually in amount as time passes


ac·cu·mu·late | \ ə-ˈkyü-myə-ˌlāt \
accumulated; accumulating

Kids Definition of accumulate

1 : collect sense 3, gather In a very short time they had accumulated all sorts of fascinating facts about tombs and temples … —Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game

2 : to increase in quantity or number My money is accumulating.


accumulated; accumulating

Legal Definition of accumulate 

transitive verb

: to gather especially little by little specifically : to add (income from a fund) back into the principal

intransitive verb

: to increase gradually in amount or number

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