cumulative


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, amount, power, or severity) by successive additions, successive accretions, or successive repetitions; thus, the cumulative effect of a drug may be harmful even though the immediate effect of each dose has, apparently, been beneficial; terror is cumulative because one fear tends to inspire another
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groupings of fact and argument and illustration so as to produce a cumulative and mass effect— Cardozo

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Something is accumulative which is constantly increasing in amount or bulk through successive additions or which has reached its sum total or magnitude through many such additions
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the art of nations is to be accumulative . . . the work of living men not superseding, but building itself upon the work of the past— Ruskin

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such persons cannot understand the force of accumulative proof— Whately

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Cumulative is now used more often than accumulative especially where increasing severity or enhancement in influence or power are to be suggested.
Something is additive which is of such a nature that it is capable either of assimilation to or incorporation in something else or of growth by additions. An additive detail, element, or factor is one that has such affinity for another thing that it becomes a constituent part of that thing; thus, red, green, and blue-violet are the additive colors and are used in color photography because they blend to form any color
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this new hypothesis assigns to the atom properties which are in no way inconsistent with the inverse-square attraction of its electrons and protons; rather they are additive to it— Jeans

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this pluralistic view, of a world of additive constitution, is one that pragmatism is unable to rule out from serious consideration— James

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Something is summative which is capable of association or combination with other things so as to produce such a sum total as an additive whole or a cumulative effect
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the summative action of a drug and its adjuvant

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if the student could not add up his achievements, if there was nothing summative in his education— Educational Review

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Analogous words: accumulated, amassed (see ACCUMULATE): multiplying, increasing, augmenting (see INCREASE)
Contrasted words: dissipated, dispersed, scattered (see SCATTER)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 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 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… …   Modern English usage

  • 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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