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

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

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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, 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

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The first known use of cumulate was in 1534

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Cite this Entry

“Cumulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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