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Back-formation from accretion.


  • (UK, US)IPA(key): /əˈkɹiːt/, /əˈkɹit/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːt


accrete (third-person singular simple present accretes, present participle accreting, simple past and past participle accreted)

  1. (intransitive) To grow together, combine; to fuse.
    Astronomers believe the Earth began to accrete more than 4.6 billion years ago.
    • 2014 September 7, Natalie Angier, “The Moon comes around again [print version: Revisiting a moon that still has secrets to reveal: Supermoon revives interest in its violent origins and hidden face, International New York Times, 10 September 2014, p. 8]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      According to the reigning hypothesis, about 4.5 billion years ago, shortly after Earth had accreted down into a sphere from its little slub of circumsolar material, another newborn planet [Theia], still shaky on its feet, slammed obliquely into Earth with terrifying force.
  2. (intransitive) To adhere; to grow or to be added to gradually.
  3. (transitive) To make adhere; to add; to make larger or more, as by growing.
    • 1871, John Earle, The Philology of the English Tongue
      the reader has not only mastered this distinction , but that he has so thoroughly accreted it and assimilated it to his habits of mind

Usage notes[edit]

  • (to fuse): Used with the word to.



accrete (not comparable)

  1. Characterized by accretion; made up
    accrete matter
  2. (botany) Grown together
    • 1881, Henry Baillon, "Jackia", in The Natural History of Plants Volume 7
      Fruit coriaceous, crowned with accrete calyx


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]




  1. vocative masculine singular of accrētus