ac·​cu·​mu·​la·​tion | \ ə-ˌkyü-m(y)ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce accumulation (audio) \

Definition of accumulation

1 : something that has accumulated or has been accumulated an impressive accumulation of knowledge
2 : the action or process of accumulating something : the state of being or having accumulated the steady accumulation of snow
3 : increase or growth by addition especially when continuous or repeated accumulation of interest

Examples of accumulation in a Sentence

a vast accumulation of evidence about the dangers of smoking the accumulation of leaves on the ground is proceeding at a much faster rate than my raking
Recent Examples on the Web Eventually some combination of credit squeeze or inventory over-accumulation then precipitates a downturn in the economy. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 23 May 2022 Skillful mentoring is at the top of my list as the best way to achieve the sort of durable social change for people of color that can come about through wealth accumulation in entrepreneurial real estate investing and development. Monte Lee-wen, Forbes, 13 May 2022 But pass-level roads shouldn’t see any accumulation. oregonlive, 13 May 2022 Motorists also are asked to drive carefully on bridges that may have more snow accumulation. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Apr. 2022 That’s a result of the steady accumulation, throughout thousands of years, of dead wetland vegetation—largely bulrushes called tules, which once flourished throughout the area. David Owen, The New Yorker, 11 May 2022 More than eight years on, the fruit of this slow accumulation is her first book. Henry Hitchings, WSJ, 8 May 2022 This sort of ladder-like accumulation of mutations is something much more characteristic of how influenza evolves. Megan Molteni, STAT, 4 May 2022 Several aquatic plants and animals—up to 100,000 mammals—are killed due to such plastic accumulation in water bodies. Naveen Joshi, Forbes, 2 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of accumulation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for accumulation

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French accumulacion, borrowed from Latin accumulātiōn-, accumulātiō, from accumulāre "to accumulate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Time Traveler for accumulation

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

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Dictionary Entries Near accumulation

accumulated temperature


accumulation factor

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Statistics for accumulation

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Accumulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for accumulation


ac·​cu·​mu·​la·​tion | \ ə-ˌkyü-myə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce accumulation (audio) \

Kids Definition of accumulation

1 : an act of collecting or gathering the accumulation of snow
2 : collection sense 2 an accumulation of junk



Legal Definition of accumulation

: increase or growth by addition especially when continuous or repeated specifically : an increase in the amount of a fund or property by the continuous addition to it of the income or interest it generates to treat a stock dividend as principal when local law classifies it as income may be deemed an accumulation — W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al. — see also accumulation trust at trust

Note: Because they prevent the enjoyment and benefit of wealth, accumulations are deemed contrary to public policy. A provision in a will for an accumulation will be invalidated if found to be unreasonable by the court.

More from Merriam-Webster on accumulation

Nglish: Translation of accumulation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accumulation for Arabic Speakers


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