cumulative


cumulative
cumulative, accumulative
are both used in the meaning ‘formed or increasing by successive additions’, although cumulative is now more usual (as in cumulative arguments, effect, evidence, force, etc.). Accumulative is however still found, (there are around 100 examples in the OEC) and by virtue of its form has stronger associations with the process of accumulating:

• Explanations of whatever kind are not universal answers, merely part of a progressive and accumulative act of learning and knowing —G. Watson, 1991.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cumulative — Cu mu*la*tive (k? m? l? t?v), a. [Cf. F. cumulatif.] [1913 Webster] 1. Composed of parts in a heap; forming a mass; aggregated. As for knowledge which man receiveth by teaching, it is cumulative, not original. Bacon [1913 Webster] 2. Augmenting,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cumulative — cu·mu·la·tive / kyü myə lə tiv, ˌlā / adj 1: increasing by successive additions 2: tending to prove the same point cumulative testimony 3: following in time Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster …   Law dictionary

  • cumulative — cu‧mu‧la‧tive [ˈkjuːmjlətɪv ǁ leɪtɪv] adjective increasing gradually and having a greater effect as more is added over a period of time: • The state is already saddled with a cumulative deficit of about $73 million. • The company faces… …   Financial and business terms

  • cumulative — cumulative, accumulative, additive, summative are comparable when meaning increasing or produced by the addition of like or assimilable things. Something is cumulative which is constantly increasing or is capable of constant increase (as in size …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cumulative — [kyo͞o′myə lə tiv΄; ] occas. [, kyo͞o′myəlāt΄iv] adj. [see CUMULATE] 1. increasing in effect, size, quantity, etc. by successive additions; accumulated [cumulative interest] 2. taking successive additions into account [a cumulative average] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • cumulative — (adj.) c.1600, from L. cumulatus, pp. of cumulare to heap, from cumulus heap (see CUMULUS (Cf. cumulus)) + IVE (Cf. ive) …   Etymology dictionary

  • cumulative — [adj] accruing; growing in size or effect accumulative, additive, additory, advancing, aggregate, amassed, augmenting, chain, collective, heaped, heightening, increasing, increscent, intensifying, magnifying, multiplying, snowballing*, summative; …   New thesaurus

  • cumulative — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ increasing or increased by successive additions. DERIVATIVES cumulatively adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • cumulative — adjective Date: 1605 1. a. made up of accumulated parts b. increasing by successive additions 2. tending to prove the same point < cumulative evidence > 3. a. taking effect upon completion of another penal sentence …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cumulative — adj. 1 a increasing or increased in amount, force, etc., by successive additions (cumulative evidence). b formed by successive additions (learning is a cumulative process). 2 Stock Exch. (of shares) entitling holders to arrears of interest before …   Useful english dictionary


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