ac·​cu·​mu·​late | \ ə-ˈkyü-m(y)ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce accumulate (audio) \
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

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 House Bill 22-1137 limits HOAs from seeking foreclosure against homeowners who accumulate fines for violating community rules known as covenants. Brittany Freeman, ProPublica, 5 May 2022 And all that sweat, hair, dead skin, dust, and ear wax that your ears can accumulate during your daily activities mean your earbuds get dirty! Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 2 May 2022 If the vents are covered, moisture can get trapped under the structure, and mold can accumulate underneath. Robby Brown, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Globalization and financial interconnectedness help autocrats (and their oligarch pals) not only accumulate wealth but also purchase influence abroad. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 All of these accumulate to form a certain image [of Jackson]. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2022 But on Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to lift the moratorium amid growing complaints from residents who say some RV dwellers dump human waste on streets, use drugs and accumulate trash. Rachel Uranga, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Danger increases if plants are dry, accumulate dead material and are too close to structures and other combustible materials. oregonlive, 31 Mar. 2022 The points accumulate for each contestant, and based on the ranking, the finalists will be decided. Jessica Roiz, Billboard, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for accumulate

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

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Accumulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for accumulate


ac·​cu·​mu·​late | \ ə-ˈkyü-myə-ˌlāt How to pronounce accumulate (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on accumulate

Nglish: Translation of accumulate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accumulate for Arabic Speakers


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