1Chiefly with to in early use. To increase by accretion, grow up.
2To come by way of an addition or increase, to accrue. Chiefly of a failed share (Law, chiefly and now only Scots Law): to pass to others (especially co-legatees), augmenting their shares. Chiefly with to.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in William Stewart (fl. 1499–1541), chronicler and poet. Probably partly from classical Latin accrēscere to increase in size, grow larger, to grow big, to grow up, to increase, (of increments) to be added, to accrue, in post-classical Latin also (transitive) to add to, and partly a variant (with short vowel) of accrease, with remodelling of the ending after verbs in -esce.