[ uh-kroo ]
/ əˈkru /
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See synonyms for: accrue / accrued / accruing / accruement on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), ac·crued, ac·cru·ing.
to happen or result as a natural growth, addition, etc.
to be added as a matter of periodic gain or advantage, such as an employment benefit or interest on money: Paid time off is accrued weekly, at a rate of one hour per week.
Law. to become a present and enforceable right or demand.
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Origin of accrue

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English acruen, acrewen, probably from Anglo-French accru(e), Middle French accreu(e), past participle of ac(c)resitre “to increase,” from Latin accrēscere “to grow”; see ac-, crew1, accretion


ac·cru·a·ble, adjectiveac·crue·ment, nounnon·ac·cru·ing, adjectivesu·per·ac·crue, verb (used without object), su·per·ac·crued, su·per·ac·cru·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does accrue mean?

Accrue means to grow and accumulate naturally or to be added periodically. It’s especially used in the context of finance to refer to the growth of interest in an account.

The past tense of accrue (accrued) can also be used as an adjective describing something that has been accumulated, as in accrued interest.

The noun form of accrue is accrual.

In law, accrue means to become a legal right.

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

Where does accrue come from?

The first records of the word accrue come from the 1400s. It is derived from the French word acreistre, meaning “to increase,” from the Latin accrēscere, “to grow.”

Accrue 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 interest that’s accrued in a savings account or other type of account or investment. But it can be used in many different scenarios. Employees accrue vacation days throughout the year. You can accrue airline miles by flying frequently or using a credit card that offers that reward. The word can also be used more generally in reference to the accumulation of intangible things: you can accrue power or wisdom.

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What are some other forms of accrue?

  • accrued (past tense verb, adjective)
  • accrual (noun)
  • accruable (adjective)
  • accruement (noun)
  • nonaccrued (adjective)
  • accruing (continuous tense verb, adjective)
  • nonaccruing (adjective)

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

What are some synonyms for accrue?

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


How is accrue used in real life?

Accrue is often used when discussing finances, but it can refer to the accumulation of many things.



Try using accrue!

Which of the following things can accrue?

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

How to use accrue in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for accrue

/ (əˈkruː) /

verb -crues, -cruing or -crued (intr)
to increase by growth or addition, esp (of capital) to increase by periodic addition of interest
(often foll by to) to fall naturally (to); come into the possession (of); result (for)
law (of a right or demand) to become capable of being enforced

Word Origin for accrue

C15: from Old French accreue growth, ultimately from Latin accrēscere to increase, from ad- to, in addition + crēscere to grow
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