ac·​cu·​mu·​la·​tion ə-ˌkyü-m(y)ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce accumulation (audio)
: something that has accumulated or has been accumulated
an impressive accumulation of knowledge
: the action or process of accumulating something : the state of being or having accumulated
the steady accumulation of snow
: 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 Notice how, unfortunately, there’s a bit of a split along I-95, with lighter accumulations. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2023 Musk’s innovative prowess, visionary thinking, and personal sacrifices evoke admiration, while his controversial public persona, labor practices, and wealth accumulation trigger criticism. Grace Lordan, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2023 The other five violations — stuff like the accumulation of grease on the hood and hood filters of a stove — were minor. Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Occupation segregation, wage deprivation, and debt accumulation hit the Black community hard. Time, 24 Aug. 2023 Louisville can expect between 0.5 and 1 inch of precipitation, with most accumulation predicted for Kentucky's South Central region. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 3 Aug. 2023 That accumulation happened far earlier than current theories of dust formation suggest is possible. Popular Science, 19 July 2023 So much retirement advice is about the accumulation phase of your life. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 With Diego Chara missing due to suspension (yellow card accumulation), Portland often looked listless — being beaten to loose balls, not pressuring defenders and allowing plenty of space for Houston’s attack. Tyson Alger For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 20 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'accumulation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near accumulation

Cite this Entry

“Accumulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ac·​cu·​mu·​la·​tion ə-ˌkyü-myə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce accumulation (audio)
: a collecting together : amassing
: increase or growth by addition
: something accumulated : collection

Legal Definition


: 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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