[uh-kyoo-myuh-leyt] /əˈkyu myəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), accumulated, accumulating.
to gather or collect, often in gradual degrees; heap up:
"to accumulate wealth."
verb (used without object), accumulated, accumulating.
to gather into a heap, mass, cover, etc.; form a steadily increasing quantity:
"Snow accumulated in the driveway. His debts kept on accumulating."
1520–30; < Latin accumulātus heaped up (past participle of accumulāre), equivalent to ac- ac- + cumul(us) heap + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
accumulable, adjective
nonaccumulating, adjective
overaccumulate, verb, overaccumulated, overaccumulating.
preaccumulate, verb (used with object), preaccumulated, preaccumulating.
reaccumulate, verb, reaccumulated, reaccumulating.
superaccumulate, verb (used without object), superaccumulated, superaccumulating.
unaccumulable, adjective
unaccumulated, adjective
well-accumulated, adjective
Example Sentences for accumulate
Protein fragments accumulate between nerve cells.
The more faces they correctly identify the more points they accumulate.
Now, many grasslands have become woodlands, and can accumulate vast amounts of dead tinder—potential fuel for fire.
As readers move from one chapter to the next, insights accumulate.
They cannot run a deficit and accumulate massive debt.
Cells that lack a working version of it gradually accumulate genetic changes.
Belief that over time, statistics must accumulate to gradual even amount, regardless of the actual scenario.
Variations accumulate as genetic diversity.
Water systems often accumulate sludge in the form of mineral deposits and rust.
Mercury released into the air can accumulate in plants, fish and humans.
British Dictionary definitions for accumulate
accumulate (əˈkjuːmjʊˌleɪt)
to gather or become gathered together in an increasing quantity; amass; collect
[C16: from Latin accumulātus, past participle of accumulāre to heap up, from cumulus a heap]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for accumulate
1520s, from L. accumulatus, pp. of accumulare (see accumulation); pp. adj. accumulated drove out accumulate (adj.) in this sense (except poetic) by c.1700.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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