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

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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 The spokesman said the company believes the blast occurred due to an accumulation of grain dust, accompanied by some sort of spark. Josh Snyder, Arkansas Online, "3 injured in explosion at Riceland facility in Stuttgart," 16 Oct. 2020 But a greater concentration of methane gas at higher altitudes leads to a net accumulation on the mountain tops over that daily cycle. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Pluto’s ice-capped peaks are like Earth’s—but not," 15 Oct. 2020 Here and elsewhere, the sheer accumulation of things — some sublime, some kitsch, some both — make even the smallest rooms seem palatial, their walls and 18-foot-high ceilings accommodating a hodgepodge of treasures. Michael Snyder, New York Times, "In the Heart of Mexico City, an Ever-Evolving Townhouse," 29 Sep. 2020 Now, ice mass losses consistently exceed mass gains – even in the coolest years of relatively high snow accumulation. Michalea King, The Conversation, "Shrinking glaciers have created a new normal for Greenland’s ice sheet – consistent ice loss for the foreseeable future," 5 Oct. 2020 The remainder of the week will bring gloomy, drizzly weather, and Kutz said Anchorage see an accumulation of about two-thirds of an inch of rain by Friday. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Strong winds forecast for Southcentral Alaska overnight as rain continues," 30 Sep. 2020 That has in turn led to an accumulation of surplus fuel sources in forests across the West. Gregory Thomas,, "Why we need redwoods to fight climate change," 25 Sep. 2020 The ceremony, which was not aired on state television, took place amid an accumulation of equipment and military personnel in central Minsk, according to a report Wednesday from the Belarusian news agency NBC News, "Belarus' Lukashenko abruptly sworn in as president amid ongoing protests about election," 23 Sep. 2020 In the second quarter, for the first time, the net foreign asset accumulation of the PBOC and the state banking system looks to have returned to close to $100 billion—a sum roughly equal to the current account surplus. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Capital Note: Surge in Entrepreneurship amid Pandemic," 30 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for accumulation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for accumulation

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Accumulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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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.

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