cumulative

adjective
cu·​mu·​la·​tive | \ ˈkyü-myə-lə-tiv How to pronounce cumulative (audio) , -ˌlā-\

Definition of cumulative

1a : increasing by successive additions
b : made up of accumulated parts
2 : tending to prove the same point cumulative evidence
3a : taking effect upon completion of another penal sentence a cumulative sentence
b : increasing in severity with repetition of the offense cumulative penalty
4 : formed by the addition of new material of the same kind a cumulative book index
5 : summing or integrating overall data or values of a random variable less than or less than or equal to a specified value cumulative normal distribution cumulative frequency distribution

6 finance

a : to be added if not paid when normally due to the next payment or a future payment cumulative preferred dividends cumulative interest
b of stock : bearing such a dividend cumulative preferred stock

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Other Words from cumulative

cumulatively adverb
cumulativeness noun

Examples of cumulative in a Sentence

… Game Boy, which first came out in 1989 as a monochrome handheld toy, has become the most successful of all of the systems, reaching cumulative sales of 110 million units to date … — N'gai Croal, Newsweek, 28 May 2001 They began looking at the cumulative effect of stress and realized that, while there might have been an incident that finally triggered the madness, a series of previous events had lowered the soldier's emotional resistance. — Michael Fleming and Roger Manvell, Psychology Today, July 1987 Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance," in Essays1841 a cumulative weight gain of 20 pounds over the course of a year
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Recent Examples on the Web

The cumulative smoke from those fires has been affecting almost every community in the state, sparing only the North Slope, said Beth Ipsen, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Red flag wildfire warning issued for much of Alaska; smoke chokes Fairbanks," 11 July 2019 Such manoeuvres, combined with a focus on more lucrative models, could help BMW to cut a cumulative €12bn in costs over the next four years and restore margins to a healthy 8-10%, insists Nicolas Peter, its chief financial officer. The Economist, "BMW tries to turn a corner—and loses its boss," 11 July 2019 Their cumulative effect could well cost Democrats victory in 2020. Karl Rove, WSJ, "The Democrats Go to Extremes," 10 July 2019 The system had seen $145 million in cumulative state funding cuts over the previous four years. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Higher Education Has Become a Partisan Issue," 5 July 2019 His precise documentation, from the mundane moments to the monumental, has the cumulative effect of restoring some dignity to the idea of public service. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "A fond look back on John Kerry’s tenure as secretary of state," 3 July 2019 The cumulative effect of these trends has been to unnerve businesses, casting doubt on Hong Kong’s future as an international financial hub. Time, "It Is Time for Democracy in Hong Kong," 2 July 2019 Each build will be deployed as a cumulative update—a patch, in other words, rather than an entirely new build. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's fall release of Windows 10 will be deliberately anticlimactic," 1 July 2019 Uncontested races skew the cumulative vote totals, and turnout can vary widely from district to district. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "How Much Does Gerrymandering Really Matter?," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cumulative.' 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 cumulative

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for cumulative

see cumulate

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Statistics for cumulative

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cumulative

The first known use of cumulative was in 1605

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More Definitions for cumulative

cumulative

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of cumulative

: increasing or becoming better or worse over time through a series of additions
: including or adding together all of the things that came before

cumulative

adjective
cu·​mu·​la·​tive | \ ˈkyü-myə-lə-tiv How to pronounce cumulative (audio) , -ˌlā-\

Kids Definition of cumulative

: increasing (as in force, strength, amount, or importance) over time Rainy weather had a cumulative effect on the crops.

cumulative

adjective
cu·​mu·​la·​tive | \ ˈkyü-myə-lət-iv, -ˌlāt- How to pronounce cumulative (audio) \

Medical Definition of cumulative

: increasing in effect by successive doses (as of a drug or poison) cumulative poisoning by organochlorine pesticides— Jack Clincy

Other Words from cumulative

cumulatively adverb

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cumulative

adjective
cu·​mu·​la·​tive | \ ˈkyü-myə-lə-tiv, -ˌlā- How to pronounce cumulative (audio) \

Legal Definition of cumulative

1 : increasing by successive additions
2 : tending to prove the same point cumulative testimony
3 : following in time

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Comments on cumulative

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