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 By the end of the century, cumulative net carbon dioxide emissions from California’s natural lands could reach 518 million metric tons, according to Houlton’s research. J.d. Morris, SFChronicle.com, "California trumpets its climate leadership. But wildfires and flying could stymie its goals," 16 Sep. 2019 The cumulative number of housing units the city wants to add borders on eye-popping. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego is laying plans for a future building boom," 15 Sep. 2019 Individuals’ cumulative commercial and social-media transactions give them a score that determines their access to education, housing, clinics, travel, and more, even including pet ownership. George Will, National Review, "Hong Kong’s Summer of Heroic Dissent," 12 Sep. 2019 Individuals’ cumulative commercial and social-media transactions give them a score that determines their access to education, housing, clinics, travel and more, even including pet ownership. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Hong Kong’s summer of heroic dissent," 12 Sep. 2019 Second, the denial of a chance to play could have a detrimentally cumulative effect on Brown’s season. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Should the NFL Place Antonio Brown on the Commissioner’s Exempt List?," 12 Sep. 2019 Both incidents caused cumulative damage of roughly $20,000. Fox News, "New Jersey man accused of breaking into Taylor Swift’s home did ‘doughnuts’ on Trump golf course, police say," 11 Sep. 2019 The two-game cumulative scoreboard says Badgers 110, Opponents 0. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "5 things we learned about Big Ten football after Week 2, including Jim Harbaugh’s embarrassing day and Wisconsin’s sizzle. Plus, our updated power rankings.," 9 Sep. 2019 The cumulative crowd was a 12-fold increase on the start of the 2018-19 season when 5,167 fans attended the five games before the English top flight was enlarged from 11 to 12 teams. BostonGlobe.com, "Team USA surges to Walker Cup crown," 8 Sep. 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

9 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for cumulative

The first known use of cumulative was in 1605

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More Definitions for cumulative

cumulative

adjective
How to pronounce cumulative (audio)

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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