Meaning of accrete in English:


Pronunciation /əˈkriːt/


[no object]
  • 1Grow by accumulation or coalescence.

    ‘ice that had accreted grotesquely into stalactites’
    • ‘Online, audiences or communities don't necessarily build so much as grow or accrete.’
    • ‘One process is accretion under water - ‘the idea that grains on the sea floor or in living water roll around and sometimes they accrete or grow by adding layers of material,’ explained McSween.’
    • ‘There may have been an additional body of work, but this was secondary to the text-representation of yourself that accreted, word by word, as a result of your participation.’
    • ‘It's fascinating to watch the comments accrete in layers as the weeks go by.’
    • ‘With Abba, we were dealing with emotions that had simmered and accreted for years.’
    • ‘Relationships between countries slowly accrete over years and there is always more to be done to strengthen them further and to build bridges to new friendships.’
    • ‘Up until about 1997, the north end of Hog Island was accreting at a rate of 5 m yr - 1 and had developed a series of different-aged dune lines lying parallel to the shoreline.’
    • ‘The westerly dipping reflections show that the dune has migrated from east to west and is accreting on its western side.’
    • ‘Only the upper 4 km of this sequence is accreting at the current subduction zone.’
    • ‘The commonly quoted ‘spreading rate’ is the rate at which a single plate accretes - for symmetrical spreading it is half the divergence rate.’
    • ‘Sure, great poets steal, but this poet accretes.’
    • ‘To sum up, your digital profile is a representation of aspects of your self that accretes over time.’
    • ‘The kids are born relatively normal, but as they go through life bone accretes all over them such that they can no longer move.’
    • ‘The slab of crust containing the deposit and its assemblage of vent fossils was then translated northeastwards on the Farallon Plate and accreted to its present location.’
    • ‘When the arcs accreted to the continental margin, the Main Uralian Thrust and Deevo Thrust were active simultaneously, probably causing uplift of the arc material between them.’
    • ‘The land owner sought not only compensation for the land expropriated as comprised within his deed, but also for a parcel of land that had accreted to his land by the actions of the river.’
    • ‘Rift basins in the Red Sea area developed in terranes accreted in Pan-African time, and it is believed that some of these ancient sutures controlled later Red Sea rifting.’
    • ‘Nonetheless both types of sclerites lack evidence for marginal accretion, and both clearly accreted ventrally.’
    • ‘In the case of the Inquiry, and of law in general, there are a set of formal rules which have accreted and grown massive over time with precisely the aim of locking down literal meaning.’
    • ‘It's not even all that easy to navigate, because most of the material has just accreted over the past seven years.’
    1. 1.1with object Form (a composite whole) by gradual accumulation.
      ‘the collection of art he had accreted was to be sold’
      • ‘How is it possible that now, and in the next few months, his little brain accretes cells at the mind-blowing rate of 250 000 a minute?’
      • ‘Although the sedimentary rocks of the LeMay Group are generally regarded as having been accreted, this has only been demonstrated at a few localities.’
      • ‘Batman is a thought form dreamt up by Bob Kane, which has accreted beliefs and views over the decades to become the Batman we know today, independent of the original.’
      • ‘They were probably accreted late in the Cretaceous.’
      • ‘Even ‘busy’ surgeons may take a long time to accrete enough performance data to allow valid comparison with their peers, particularly in low volume specialties such as neurosurgery.’
      • ‘As discrete centres of energy, individuals begin, from before birth, to become themselves; to accrete identities and personalities.’
      • ‘From prose through haiku-like passages, prime lyric moments, epic adventures and noir scenes, to what seem to be autobiographical insights, the volume accretes a sense of absurd fullness of vision.’
      • ‘The vent site was then translated northeastward by the motion of the Farallon Plate and was subsequently accreted to its present location.’
      • ‘In the last ten years, it has accreted features and has become one of the most sophisticated calendar programs I've seen.’
      • ‘Like the house that Jack built, it had accreted new bits and pieces and additions over the years and lacked overall coherence.’
      • ‘We are reverting to the civilization of luggage, and historians of the future will note how the middle classes accrete possessions without taking root in the earth, and may find in this the secret of their imaginative poverty.’
      • ‘Negotiating context shifts over time proves to be the most difficult, socially and even legally, to let resources accrete value.’
      • ‘Music does not accrete weight because it's dark in tone and subject.’
      • ‘The region is protected from the ocean largely by the Coastal Mountains, which are composed of mostly oceanic sedimentary rocks and volcanic islands that were accreted to the landscape over the last 50 million years.’
      • ‘But beaches constantly morph because of erosion and deposition, and this one has accreted several hundred feet of sand in the past five decades.’
      • ‘They are also surrounded by a reservoir of fuel which allows them to accrete material right up to the Eddington Limit.’
      • ‘Continuing to retrace its earlier history, the zircon may then become incorporated into sediment and, once more, find itself deeply buried in even younger metamorphic rock, and accreting a second, younger overgrowth.’
      • ‘An unassuming but apparently magical dry-erase board accretes a roster of chores throughout the week.’
      • ‘But given the precedents that have accreted over the last several decades, precedents that the Court is unlikely to sweep away, it seems to me that the equal treatment view is on balance the best outcome we can get today.’
      • ‘As the monster travelled and mutated, it also accreted ever more complex layers of meaning.’
    2. 1.2Astronomy (with reference to matter or a body) come or bring together under the influence of gravitation.
      no object ‘the gas will cool and then accrete to the galaxy's core’
      • ‘When the giant Jupiter was formed 4.6 billion years ago, its enormous gravity cleared the region around it from most of the rocky debris that would normally accrete to form a planet.’
      • ‘Planet cores and terrestrial rocky planets would accrete from the planetesimals.’
      • ‘Theory predicts that these disks accrete onto the holes because of friction.’
      • ‘The other moons probably accreted within the nebula in which Saturn itself formed.’
      • ‘This past year, however, another team found that in the less volatile outer reaches of the nebula, the disks might survive long enough to eventually accrete into planets.’
      • ‘This is because the star itself is formed from the disk at or near its center, and the gas and dust in the outer regions dissipate or accrete into planets.’
      • ‘The lessons of these, and perhaps others remaining to be discovered, are: the Milky Way is a dynamic system, still forming, its disk still accreting; and some of the stars in the Solar neighborhood may have formed in another galaxy.’
      • ‘‘Matter accreting around a black hole heats up,’ he explains, ‘and this heating could be a sign that small black holes were widespread in the Universe at that time.’’
      • ‘Matter accretes into forms while the energy contained in those forms seeks to be released, either to build other structures or to dissipate into the heat of entropy.’
      • ‘Some of this is fossil heat from the beginning four and a half billion years ago when the earth accreted from rock, dust and gas into a molten ball.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘acquire gradually’): from Latin accret- ‘grown’, from the verb accrescere, from ad- ‘to’ + crescere ‘grow’.