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

Definition of cumulate

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become massed

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cumulate

cumulate \ ˈkyü-​myə-​lət How to pronounce cumulate (audio) , -​ˌlāt How to pronounce cumulate (audio) \ adjective
cumulation \ ˌkyü-​myə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce cumulate (audio) \ 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 The two women met by chance in 2017 and their partnership has cumulated into these three political pieces. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "A Denim Brand Is Laser-Etching #MeToo News Stories on its Jeans," 14 June 2018

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

First Known Use of cumulate

1534, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for cumulate

Latin cumulatus, past participle of cumulare, from cumulus mass

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cumulate

Time Traveler for cumulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of cumulate was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about cumulate

Statistics for cumulate

Cite this Entry

“Cumulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on cumulate Encyclopedia article about cumulate

Comments on cumulate

What made you want to look up cumulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!