Meaning of accretion in English:


Pronunciation /əˈkriːʃn/

See synonyms for accretion

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mass noun
  • 1Growth or increase by the gradual accumulation of additional layers or matter.

    ‘the accretion of sediments in coastal mangroves’
    • ‘the growing accretion of his power and influence’
    • ‘Usually when one talks about a Darwinian explanation for something, the intention is to explain how the prolonged action of natural selection led to the formation of a complex structure through a process of gradual accretion.’
    • ‘His auspicious debut might have given him the leverage to realize some of his grander plans, but the Simon Fraser film grad says his films have grown by steady accretion of ideas and details, rather than an overarching scheme.’
    • ‘A sample curve would probably be organised in a series of steps - with gradual accretion of insight being the normal, but with occasional significant massive leaps also occurring.’
    • ‘The leaves and stems of plants in brilliant primaries, created by the gradual accretion of six single-colour woodblocks, reach out across the space of the fabric.’
    • ‘That bone grows through accretion, and is not extensively remodeled as the animal matures.’
    • ‘That's not what geologists expect from the gradual accretion of crust at plate boundaries, but it could be the handiwork of episodic volcanic outbursts, fed by broad plumes of rock that rose periodically from deep in the mantle.’
    • ‘He has some (very large) movie files, along with selected stills of the formation of a ‘lunar seed’ through the rapid growth and accretion of particles.’
    • ‘And since that time, we've seen the gradual accretion of confidence in intervention in the cause of human rights, plus a fairly impressive armory of techniques and accomplices.’
    • ‘On the other side of the coin, if we hypothesize that complex structures arise by gradual accretion and natural selection, then we would expect those structures to bear evidence of history.’
    • ‘In other words, accretion occurs by the gradual acts of the sea or the water in a tidal area, and if something dramatic happens, like a reclamation, that cannot add anything to anybody's land.’
    • ‘The list of international crimes, that is of the acts for whose accomplishment international law makes the authors criminally responsible, has come into being by gradual accretion.’
    • ‘The most negatively affected birds are those characterized by the otherwise desirable traits of rapid growth and muscle accretion.’
    • ‘Los Angeles itself grows by accretion, creeping eastward through the San Gorgonio Pass along the line of the San Andreas Fault, bulldozing further and further into the Mojave Desert.’
    • ‘The individual crystal grains that comprise these rocks have grown by molecular accretion, and the resultant interlocking structure is commonly extremely strong when the crystals are randomly orientated.’
    • ‘Sponges grow by accretion and therefore lack a fixed primary axis.’
    • ‘A quiet work that slowly gathers momentum through accretion of personalities and individual histories, Homestead is the story of a small valley in Austria between 1906 and 1977.’
    • ‘The sheer accretion of information about things is not enough.’
    • ‘Gentle but steady water movement produced by slow flow through lakes and meandering backwater stream channels provides aeration and slow accretion of alluvial sediments.’
    • ‘Theoretically, the result over time is the accretion of enough additional muscle mass to create both a visual difference and an increase in strength.’
    • ‘The interior appears to have grown organically over time by a process of accretion similar to the formation of mould.’
    accumulation, collecting, gathering, amassing, cumulation, accrual, growth, formation, enlargement, increase, gain, augmentation, rise, mushrooming, snowballing
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    1. 1.1count noun A thing formed or added by gradual growth or increase.
      ‘the city has a historic core surrounded by recent accretions’
      • ‘To this end, the State Apartments were stripped of recent accretions with the exception of the Bedchamber, which remains to this day more or less as used by Princess Victoria.’
      • ‘Instead of demolition, however, Swan Hall enjoyed the most devoted restoration of its long life. The team working for Rochford Hall Ltd stripped out the uglier accretions of the centuries, exposing the wondrous oak framework.’
      • ‘Beyond these accretions and intentional change, the space, the vistas, the juxtapositions and potential paths generated by the new building are probably the greatest difference.’
      • ‘War strips us of the later accretions of civilization and lays bare the primal man in each of us.’
      • ‘Painted in 1520 on thin wood which is now badly warped, it will require delicate and major surgery over the next few months to remove the accretions of time, coal dust and candle smoke.’
      • ‘Admittedly, a lot of Blade Runner's architecture is megastructural, but the overall look is one of layering - accretions built up over the decades.’
      • ‘All she was doing was peeling away some of the years of socialist accretions.’
      • ‘It is like a country house, with wings and accretions of differing styles and periods clustered around the original 17 th-century core.’
      • ‘Subsequent accretions were dismissed as degenerative.’
      • ‘Her paintings become accretions, spiritual and physical.’
      • ‘This has the added bonus of dissolving those crusty accretions that make one's toothpaste tube a complete social disgrace.’
      • ‘Once this was done, and the buildings cleared of unnecessary accretions, the architect was left with an enormous double-height volume, requiring a new first floor, and a smaller vaulted one with a chamber above.’
      • ‘Hospitals, in this country at least, tend to be accretions, as various periods of architecture and expertise are layered one on top of another: here a block of airy Victorian wards, there a rigorous piece of post-war functionalism.’
      • ‘In these pieces, which suggest, among other possibilities, Aztec or Mayan reliefs, Toledo inscribed fine traceries of animal figures on caked, mortarlike accretions of sand and pigment.’
      • ‘Those involved in the reform after Vatican II would have seen themselves preserving the basic core of the Roman rite, as they pruned back some of the historical accretions that kept that core from shining through.’
      • ‘And what this work shows, the work of historians of religion, is that in fact these kinds of texts are accretions that develop over time, they come out of arguments - you can show what those arguments are.’
      • ‘He had found a dozen identifiable Spanish gold coins and a collection of objects that might prove interesting when the restoration experts at the museum in Barnstaple had removed accretions gathered over several centuries.’
      • ‘Unnecessary and unsightly accretions have been stripped away and the building replanned to accommodate new teaching spaces and laboratories.’
      • ‘The desert ends with a steeply shelving cliff against the ocean, where layers of alluvial accretion are exposed like a lesson in geological stratification.’
      • ‘Unfortunately it's weighted down with accretion upon accretion of utterly self-indulgent pomposity.’
      addition, extension, growth, appendage, add-on, supplement
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    2. 1.2Astronomy The coming together and cohesion of matter under the influence of gravitation to form larger bodies.
      ‘during the later stages of accretion the outer 100 km or so of the Moon melted’
      • ‘We also need to know which clusters have experienced a recent substantial gravitational accretion of mass, and which clusters are in a stage of collision and merging.’
      • ‘We are told that the earth formed by accretion of cosmic dust billions of years ago.’
      • ‘This energy input could have a profound effect on the evolution of the galaxy by triggering the formation of stars, or inhibiting the growth of the galaxy through accretion of matter from intergalactic space.’
      • ‘The usual model for these events is that a white dwarf star is gaining mass by accretion from a companion.’
      • ‘So instead of joining into a single big object, asteroids began to strike each other at high speeds, several kilometres per second, often resulting in catastrophic fragmentation and disruption rather than accretion.’
      • ‘These details support the theory that the two stars are close enough for accretion to take place and that the companion star is being cannibalised.’
      • ‘The idea of planetary accretion from cold matter was subsequently to be developed by several other geologists and cosmologists.’
      • ‘That's consistent with the theory that the moon formed not from the accretion of smaller bodies but by the collision of a planet with the newly formed Earth.’
      • ‘In yet another scenario, the so-called binary planet, or co-accretion, hypothesis, the Earth and the Moon all formed at the same time by the accretion of small bodies.’
      • ‘Turns out, fortunately, that the steady and essentially unending accretion of interplanetary and intermoon particles may replenish the rings.’
      • ‘The objects are most likely very primitive: detritus from the early accretion phases of the solar system.’
      • ‘All the planets should have started warm, when gravitational energy was transformed into heat during planetary accretion.’
      • ‘Dr. Livio has done much fundamental work on the topic of accretion of mass onto black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs, as well as on the formation of black holes and the possibility to extract energy from them.’
      • ‘Before the Apollo samples became available, many planetary scientists had favored an early, intense bombardment associated with the late stages in the accretion of the planets.’
      • ‘As the pulsar picks up speed through accretion, any slight distortion in the star's dense, half-mile-thick crust of crystalline metal will allow the pulsar to radiate gravitational waves.’
      • ‘You just don't get giant rotating disks from the accretion of small galaxy fragments.’
      • ‘Of course, anybody familiar with the way that planets are formed by the gradual accretion of matter in orbit around a star will be aware that this couldn't happen.’
      • ‘This scenario proposes that a jovian gas giant forms when, by gradual accretion of rock or ice, a solid planetary core has reached a critical mass of perhaps 10 M.’
      • ‘The theory of core accretion supposes the collisional accumulation of solid bodies, the process that is universally accepted as the formation mechanism of the terrestrial planets.’
      • ‘This accretion of the gaseous layers is often referred to as the ‘runaway’ stage in the planet's formation, since theory says it is much more rapid than the formation of the core.’


Early 17th century from Latin accretio(n-), from accrescere ‘become larger’ (see accrete).