[uh-kree-shuh n]
  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.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for non-accretive


  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
Derived Formsaccretive or accretionary, adjective

Word Origin for accretion

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 non-accretive



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

non-accretive in Medicine


  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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

non-accretive in Science


  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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.