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accretion

[uh-kree-shuh n]
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noun
  1. an increase by natural growth or by gradual external addition; growth in size or extent.
  2. the result of this process.
  3. an added part; addition: The last part of the legend is a later accretion.
  4. the growing together of separate parts into a single whole.
  5. Law. increase of property by gradual natural additions, as of land by alluvion.
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Origin of accretion

1605–15; < Latin accrētiōn- (stem of accrētiō), equivalent to accrēt(us), past participle of accrēscere to grow (ac- ac- + crē- grow + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsac·cre·tive, ac·cre·tion·ar·y, adjectivenon·ac·cre·tion, nounnon·ac·cre·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

accumulationraiseriseaccessionincreaseaugmentationincrementbuild-up

Examples from the Web for accretion

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The fund had ample time for accretion, since the children were as late as Never is.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • Organisms are not added to by accretion, as in the case of minerals, but by growth.

  • With any accretion allowed, the concentration of wealth is irresistible.

    Usury

    Calvin Elliott

  • The only difficulty in this accretion is to secure debtors that will not die.

    Usury

    Calvin Elliott

  • She was in a state of rare contentment, an accretion to the gaiety that was hers by nature.


British Dictionary definitions for accretion

accretion

noun
  1. any gradual increase in size, as through growth or external addition
  2. something added, esp extraneously, to cause growth or an increase in size
  3. the growing together of normally separate plant or animal parts
  4. pathol
    1. abnormal union or growing together of parts; adhesion
    2. a mass of foreign matter collected in a cavity
  5. law an increase in the share of a beneficiary in an estate, as when a co-beneficiary fails to take his share
  6. astronomy the process in which matter under the influence of gravity is attracted to and increases the mass of a celestial body. The matter usually forms an accretion disc around the accreting object
  7. geology the process in which a continent is enlarged by the tectonic movement and deformation of the earth's crust
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Derived Formsaccretive or accretionary, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin accretiō increase, from accrēscere. See accrue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for accretion

n.

1610s, from Latin accretionem (nominative accretio) "an increasing, a growing larger" (e.g. of the waxing moon), noun of action from past participle stem of accrescere, from ad- "to" (see ad-) + crescere "grow" (see crescent).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

accretion in Medicine

accretion

(ə-krēshən)
n.
  1. Growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion.
  2. Increase by addition to the periphery of material of the same nature as that already present, as in the growth of crystals.accrementition
  3. Foreign material, such as plaque or calculus, collecting on the surface of a tooth or in a cavity.
  4. The growing together or adherence of body parts that are normally separate.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

accretion in Science

accretion

[ə-krēshən]
  1. Geology The gradual extension of land by natural forces, as in the addition of sand to a beach by ocean currents, or the extension of a floodplain through the deposition of sediments by repeated flooding.
  2. Astronomy The accumulation of additional mass in a celestial object by the drawing together of interstellar gas and surrounding objects by gravity.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.