Definition of accumulate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    accumulate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they accumulate
    BrE BrE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪt//
     
    he / she / it accumulates
    BrE BrE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪts//
     
    past simple accumulated
    BrE BrE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪtɪd//
     
    past participle accumulated
    BrE BrE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form accumulating
    BrE BrE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈkjuːmjəleɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive] accumulate something to gradually get more and more of something over a period of time synonym amass I seem to have accumulated a lot of books. By investing wisely she accumulated a fortune. We have accumulated a great amount of evidence. Synonymscollectgather accumulate amassThese words all mean to get more of something over a period of time, or to increase in quantity over a period of time.collect to bring things or information together from different people or places; to gradually increase in amount in a place:We’ve been collecting data from various sources. Dirt had collected in the corners of the room. People sometimes collect things of a particular type as a hobby:to collect stamps.gather to bring things together that have been spread around; to collect information from different sources:I waited while he gathered up his papers. Detectives have spent months gathering evidence.collect or gather?Both collect and gather can be used in the same way to talk about bringing together data, information or evidence. When talking about things, gather is used with words like things, belongings or papers when the things are spread around within a short distance. Collect is used for getting examples of something from different people or places that are physically separated.accumulate (rather formal) to gradually get more and more of something over a period of time; to gradually increase in number or quantity over a period of time:I seem to have accumulated a lot of books. Debts began to accumulate.amass (rather formal) to collect something in large quantities, especially money, debts or information:He amassed a fortune from silver mining.Patterns to collect/​gather/​accumulate/​amass data/​evidence/​information to accumulate/​amass a fortune/​debts dirt/​dust/​debris collects/​accumulates to gradually/​slowly collect/​gather/​accumulate (something)
  2. 2[intransitive] to gradually increase in number or quantity over a period of time synonym build up Debts began to accumulate. Dust and dirt soon accumulate if a house is not cleaned regularly. Synonymscollectgather accumulate amassThese words all mean to get more of something over a period of time, or to increase in quantity over a period of time.collect to bring things or information together from different people or places; to gradually increase in amount in a place:We’ve been collecting data from various sources. Dirt had collected in the corners of the room. People sometimes collect things of a particular type as a hobby:to collect stamps.gather to bring things together that have been spread around; to collect information from different sources:I waited while he gathered up his papers. Detectives have spent months gathering evidence.collect or gather?Both collect and gather can be used in the same way to talk about bringing together data, information or evidence. When talking about things, gather is used with words like things, belongings or papers when the things are spread around within a short distance. Collect is used for getting examples of something from different people or places that are physically separated.accumulate (rather formal) to gradually get more and more of something over a period of time; to gradually increase in number or quantity over a period of time:I seem to have accumulated a lot of books. Debts began to accumulate.amass (rather formal) to collect something in large quantities, especially money, debts or information:He amassed a fortune from silver mining.Patterns to collect/​gather/​accumulate/​amass data/​evidence/​information to accumulate/​amass a fortune/​debts dirt/​dust/​debris collects/​accumulates to gradually/​slowly collect/​gather/​accumulate (something)
  3. Word Origin late 15th cent.: from Latin accumulat- ‘heaped up’, from the verb accumulare, from ad- ‘to’ + cumulus ‘a heap’.Extra examples Children gradually accumulate knowledge as they grow up. Dirt must not be allowed to accumulate. Evidence began to accumulate, suggesting that the drug had harmful side-effects. Toxic chemicals tend to accumulate in the body. seas and lakes where sedimentary deposits are slowly accumulating the wealth he had accumulated over the years
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: accumulate