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Line breaks: ac¦cu¦mu|late
Pronunciation: /əˈkjuːmjʊleɪt

Definition of accumulate in English:


[with object]
1Gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity of: investigators have yet to accumulate enough evidence
More example sentences
  • There is a fact of the matter when the question is global warming, and there is some hope of arriving at a definite answer by accumulating enough evidence.
  • Doctors are still working as scientists though, since placebos have accumulated enough evidence to be accepted as scientifically valid.
  • Some of the original slips are now being used in preparing new entries, as the words they illustrate finally accumulate enough evidence for inclusion.
1.1Gradually gather or acquire (a resulting whole): her goal was to accumulate a huge fortune
More example sentences
  • In the company's travel and tourism division, for instance, this has resulted in employees accumulating an overtime backlog of more than 100 hours.
  • But during the downpours last November, the mound only succeeded in accumulating a huge expanse of water which had run off from saturated fields nearby.
  • The Firm was said to have accumulated huge profits over years of illegal activity.
1.2 [no object] Gather; build up: the toxin accumulated in their bodies
More example sentences
  • They are so alive with nature's intelligence that fatigue-causing toxins cannot accumulate in the body when you eat them.
  • If inhaled continuously these toxins accumulate in the body leading to serious health problems.
  • When the rate of absorption exceeds the rate of elimination, toxins accumulate in the body.


late 15th century: from Latin accumulat- 'heaped up', from the verb accumulare, from ad- 'to' + cumulus 'a heap'.

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