an increase by natural growth or by gradual external addition; growth in size or extent.
the result of this process.
an added part; addition:
The last part of the legend is a later accretion.
the growing together of separate parts into a single whole.
Law. increase of property by gradual natural additions, as of land by alluvion.
Historical Examples

Architectural peculiarities and appointments are ever accretive properties with the novelist of imagination and latitude.
The Key to the Bront Works John Malham-Dembleby

If we willed it, we could not prevent ‘an institutional race’ from absorbing one which has no accretive principle of growth.
The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 Various

The process is not accretive, but exfoliatory—a continual movement from within outwards.
Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure Edward Carpenter

any gradual increase in size, as through growth or external addition
something added, esp extraneously, to cause growth or an increase in size
the growing together of normally separate plant or animal parts

abnormal union or growing together of parts; adhesion
a mass of foreign matter collected in a cavity

(law) an increase in the share of a beneficiary in an estate, as when a co-beneficiary fails to take his share
(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
(geology) the process in which a continent is enlarged by the tectonic movement and deformation of the earth’s crust

1610s, from Latin accretionem (nominative accretio) “an increasing, a growing larger” (e.g. of the waxing moon), noun of action from past participle stem of accrescere, from ad- “to” (see ad-) + crescere “grow” (see crescent).

accretion ac·cre·tion (ə-krē’shən)

Growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion.

Increase by addition to the periphery of material of the same nature as that already present, as in the growth of crystals. Also called accrementition.

Foreign material, such as plaque or calculus, collecting on the surface of a tooth or in a cavity.

The growing together or adherence of body parts that are normally separate.


Geology The gradual extension of land by natural forces, as in the addition of sand to a beach by ocean currents, or the extension of a floodplain through the deposition of sediments by repeated flooding.

Astronomy The accumulation of additional mass in a celestial object by the drawing together of interstellar gas and surrounding objects by gravity.

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