Definition of accumulate in English:


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


[with object]
  • 1Gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity of: investigators have yet to accumulate enough evidence
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    • 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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