ac·cu·mu·la·tion | \ ə-ˌkyü-m(y)ə-ˈlā-shən \

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

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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

Thanks to all the excess heat generated by incandescent bulbs, traditional traffic lights were able to weather even the worst of snow and ice storms, melting off any accumulation that would threaten to obscure the view. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The Huge Advantages (and One Problem) of LED Traffic Lights," 15 May 2018 Collectively, the works in the show speak to material accumulation, the comforts and safety of shelter, displacement and homelessness in the U.S. and elsewhere. Deborah Vankin,, "Shinique Smith's 'Refuge' explores shelter, homelessness and the excess of our stuff," 13 June 2018 The scientists couldn’t physically enter Camp Century because decades of snow and ice accumulation have sealed the entrance. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "Something Stirs: What Will Happen as Permafrost Thaws?," 15 May 2018 With the extra weight of the pots, plus the additional bait, the Destination was already tens of thousands of pounds heavier than accounted for in its stability book—and that didn’t include the weight of ice accumulation from the freezing spray. Outside Online, "In Search of the Vanished Destination," 17 Apr. 2018 Ice accumulations of one quarter to four tenths of an inch are predicted alongside the freezing rain. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Widespread freezing rain and lakeshore flooding takes a toll in Metro Detroit," 15 Apr. 2018 Along with elevation and temperature, the key to accumulations will be how heavily the precipitation falls. Andrew Maykuth,, "Philadelphia weather: Up to 10 inches of snow, more outages likely," 6 Mar. 2018 Little to no snow accumulation is expected in the Portland area Thursday evening. Everton Bailey Jr.,, "Flurries, rain headed to Portland area, 2-3 feet expected for Mt. Hood," 22 Feb. 2018 While the region didn't wake up to more snow accumulation Saturday, the day got off to a chilly start with temperatures in the teens and lower 20s. Mallorie Sullivan,, "Snow is on its way to Cincinnati this weekend. Here's when to expect it.," 3 Feb. 2018

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.

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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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Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for accumulation

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

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More Definitions for accumulation


ac·cu·mu·la·tion | \ ə-ˌkyü-myə-ˈlā-shən \

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.

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an open space surrounded by woods

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