[ uh-kroo-uhl ]
/ əˈkru əl /
Save This Word!

the act or process of accruing.
something accrued; accretion.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of accrual

First recorded in 1875–80; accrue + -al2


non·ac·cru·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does accrual mean?

Accrual is the process or result of gaining more of a particular thing.

Accrual is the noun form of the verb accrue, which means to grow and accumulate naturally or to be added periodically. Accrual is especially used in the context of finance to refer to the growth of interest in an account.

Example: A retirement fund allows for the accrual of money over the course of your career so that you can support yourself once you stop working.

Where does accrual come from?

Accrual is first recorded in the 1700s but came into more common use toward the end of the 1800s. It is derived from the French word acreistre, meaning “to increase.”

Accrual almost always refers to a quantity that is steadily growing—more and more of the thing is acquired as time passes. It is most often used when discussing the accrual of interest in a savings account or other type of account or investment. But it can be used in many different scenarios. For some employees, the accrual of vacation days may be limited (meaning they stop acquiring them after a certain number is reached). Accrual can also be used more generally in reference to the accumulation of intangible things, such as the accrual of power or wisdom.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of accrual?

  • accrue (verb)
  • nonaccrual (adjective)

What are some words that share a root or word element with accrual

  • accruement
  • accruable
  • nonaccrued
  • nonaccruing

What are some synonyms for accrual?

What are some words that often get used in discussing accrual?

How is accrual used in real life?

Accrual is often used when discussing finances, but it can refer to the accumulation of many things—money, airplane miles, even ice during a winter storm.



Try using accrual!

Which of the following things can be acquired through the process of accrual?

A. interest
B. vacation days
C. knowledge
D. all of the above

How to use accrual in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for accrual

/ (əˈkruːəl) /

the act of accruing
something that has accrued
accounting a charge incurred in one accounting period that has not been paid by the end of it
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