English Dictionary

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accretion (əˈkriːʃən Pronunciation for accretion



  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. (pathology)
    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 Forms

acˈcretive, acˈcretionary adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin accretiō increase, from accrēscere. See accrue

Example Sentences Including 'accretion'

"We find bacteria in the accretion ice, but can eliminate most of them using our contamination database," says Bulat.
New Scientist (2004)
Another team of researchers studying a different hole detected three sun-sized blobs of gas whirling around in its accretion disk.
SA Star (2005)
It was morally good for every citizen and a vital antidote to the remorseless accretion of central power.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
Soon ice accretion would cause the engine to stop, sometimes resulting in a dead stick landing in a field.
Test Pilots
The rapid rate of accretion also poses questions about sustainability.
Times, Sunday Times (2004)


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