cu·​mu·​late ˈkyü-myə-ˌlāt How to pronounce cumulate (audio)
cumulated; cumulating

transitive verb

: to gather or pile in a heap
: to combine into one
: to build up by addition of new material

intransitive verb

: to become massed
cumulate adjective
cumulation noun

Did you know?

Cumulate and its far more common relative accumulate both come from the Latin word cumulare, meaning "to heap up." Cumulare, in turn, comes from cumulus, meaning "mass." (Cumulus functions as an English word in its own right as well. It can mean "heap" or "accumulation," or it can refer to a kind of dense puffy cloud with a flat base and rounded outlines.) Cumulate and accumulate overlap in meaning, but you're likely to find cumulate mostly in technical contexts. The word's related adjective, cumulative, however, is used more widely.

Examples of cumulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Brigitt has four children—including a set of twins—and has cumulated over 2,000 hours (on the conservative side) of pumping time. Jamie Spain and Rachel Rothman,, 10 June 2023 The two women met by chance in 2017 and their partnership has cumulated into these three political pieces. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, 14 June 2018

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

Word History


Latin cumulatus, past participle of cumulare, from cumulus mass

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cumulate was in 1534


Dictionary Entries Near cumulate

Cite this Entry

“Cumulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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