Accrue Accrued

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| \ə-ˈkrü



Definition of accrue 

intransitive verb


: to come into existence as a legally enforceable claim


: to come about as a natural growth, increase, or advantage

the wisdom that accrues with age


: to come as a direct result of some state or action

rewards due to the feminine will accrue to me— Germaine Greer


: to accumulate or be added periodically

interest accrues on a daily basis

transitive verb

: to accumulate or have due after a period of time

accrue vacation time

Other Words from accrue

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Other Words from accrue


\ -​ˈkrü-​ə-​bəl




\ -​ˈkrü-​mənt



Examples of accrue in a Sentence

I’ll get back all the money I invested, plus any interest and dividends that have accrued.

investments that have accrued interest and dividends

Recent Examples on the Web

Specific government policies have driven the racial gap by making it specifically harder for minorities to accrue wealth.

Sarah Kliff, Vox, “An exclusive look at Cory Booker’s plan to fight wealth inequality: give poor kids money,” 22 Oct. 2018

Within five days, the film is projected to accrue more than $30 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Jennifer Lance, Glamour, “Crazy Rich Asians Is Officially Opening-Weekend Box Office Gold,” 19 Aug. 2018

The clip earned the most metrics by any musician’s Facebook Live video in March 2018 in each category, accruing 223,000 reactions, 42,000 comments, 19,000 shares and 2.4 million views in its first seven days, according to Shareablee.

Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, “Alicia Keys & Ultra Music Festival Performances Dominate Top Facebook Live Videos Chart,” 16 Apr. 2018

These in-school payments reduce or eliminate the interest that accrues during the in-school period, saving the borrower money.

Jennifer Markert, USA TODAY, “8 ways to parent independent, financially savvy college kids,” 2 Apr. 2018

Officials project a total $500,000 saving for the first year that could accrue in the following two years.

Jason Ruiter,, “Lake moves nonprofit ambulance service in-house, vows $500K savings,” 14 Feb. 2018

There’s no estimate of how much savings could accrue because it’s not known yet how many people will accept it, company spokesman Phil Lynch said.

Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, “Brown-Forman wants to shed 150 salaried jobs with early-retirement deal,” 5 June 2018

Three-year-olds through high schoolers will track their reading and accrue beads on a necklace.

Caitlin Mullen,, “Ready to read: Libraries in Oak Park, River Forest prepare for summer programs aimed at students,” 24 May 2018

Over the last year, as Hartford’s fiscal crisis has come to a head, Mayor Luke Bronin moved to limit the amount of unused sick and vacation time that non-union employees may accrue.

Jenna Carlesso, Courant Community, “Former Hartford Police Chief Named Security Director For City Schools,” 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘accrue.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback .

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First Known Use of accrue

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for accrue

Middle English acrewen, acruwen, probably borrowed from Anglo-French *acreue "increase," noun derivative from feminine of acreu, past participle of acreistre "to increase, grow," going back to Latin accrēscere, from ad- ad- + crēscere "to grow" — more at crescent entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near accrue






accrued dividend

accrued interest

Statistics for accrue

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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The first known use of accrue was
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Financial Definition of accrue

What It Is

To accrue is to record revenue and expenses in the periods in which they are incurred. Accruals , the result of accruing, are key components of the accrual method of accounting .

How It Works

Company XYZ must insure one of its buildings. The insurance company bills Company XYZ $600 every six months (one bill in January, the next in July). If each bill is for six months’ coverage, then under the accrual method, Company XYZ would not record a $600 expense in January and a $600 expense in July (doing so would mean Company XYZ was using the cash method); it would instead record a $100 expense each month for the whole year . That is, Company would match the expense to the periods in which it is incurred: $100 for January, $100 for February, $100 for March, and so on.

As you can see, accruing recognizes economic events in certain periods regardless of when actual cash transactions occur.

Why It Matters

Although it is more complex, harder to implement and harder to maintain than the cash method of accounting, most analysts agree that accruing provides a more accurate picture of a company’s performance. That’s because in any given accounting period , revenues are associated with their corresponding expenses, which gives a truer picture of the real costs of producing the revenue in a given period.

Additionally, accruing allows companies to reflect the fact that sales may have been made and expenses incurred even if cash has not changed hands yet (as is often the case with sales made on credit and similar circumstances). This in turn produces financial statements that are comparable over time.

However, one of the big drawbacks of accruing is that it tends to obscure the nature of the company’s actual cash position (e.g., a company may show millions in sales but only have $10 in its cash account because its customers haven’t paid yet).

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of accrue

: to increase in value or amount gradually as time passes : to grow or build up slowly

: to come to or be given to someone

See the full definition for accrue in the English Language Learners Dictionary




| \ə-ˈkrü



Legal Definition of accrue 

intransitive verb


: to come into existence as an enforceable claim : vest as a right

action…does not accrue until the plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known that he may have suffered injuryNational Law Journal

Statutes of limitations begin to run when a cause of action accrues.


: to come by way of increase or addition : arise as a growth or result

usually used with to or from

advantages accruing to society from the freedom of the press interest accrues to the seller as a result of the delay


: to be periodically accumulated in the process of time whether as an increase or a decrease

the accruing of taxes allowing the receivable interest to accrue

transitive verb


: to accumulate or have due after a period of time

authorized by law to accrue leave in the maximum amount of 90 days


: to enter in the books as an accrual

History and Etymology for accrue

Middle French accreue increase, addition to a property, from feminine of accreu, past participle of acreistre to increase

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with accrue

Spanish Central: Translation of accrue

Nglish: Translation of accrue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accrue for Arabic Speakers

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Home British & World English accrual

Definition of accrual in English:



  • See accrue

    • ‘For the economy, this means among other things, negative effects on earnings, employment and revenue accruals to the treasury.’
    • ‘An importance is placed on the accrual of specific ‘facts’ and ‘knowledge’.’
    • ‘Effective May 31, 2003, the plan has been frozen, and is therefore closed to further benefit accrual or new participants.’
    • ‘How has accrual contributed to improving the decision-making processes of politicians, managers, and citizens of the countries in which it has been implemented?’
    • ‘Defined benefit plans need to evolve to the Internet age with frequent access to benefit accruals and projections.’
    • ‘The thoughtful accrual of knowledge isn’t possible when events unexpectedly jump the tracks.’
    • ‘Both provide frequency of accrual, which is critical to sustaining program interest.’
    • ‘As annual leave accruals are an increasing liability, more employers are attempting to maintain their employees’ annual leave credits to a manageable level.’
    • ‘The difference between his figure and the published figures in the Pentagon budget ‘is primarily due to accruals for military health benefits legislated in 2000’.’
    • ‘To avoid this accrual, the taxpayer can pay the disputed tax and file a refund claim, preventing interest from accruing if the taxpayer loses.’
    • ‘Compensation of employees is the sum of wage and salary accruals, employer contributions for government social insurance, and other labor income.’
    • ‘But how do inequality and the accrual of wealth in themselves affect or result from the trade and current-account deficit?’
    • ‘Missing July 1, 2002, accrual rows were created and existing accruals for the same date that were incorrect have been corrected.’
    • ‘On March 31, 2004, the firm had a bank overdraft of more than €303,000 and trade creditors and accruals totalling €362,236.’
    • ‘Therefore, delaying audits generally will not result in the additional accrual of interest.’
    • ‘Investment bankers fear that with no possibility of IPOs scene perking up in near future, the fee accrual on this account will be minimal.’
    • ‘We were talking about some bonus accruals again that he was not paying attention to, and of course I did shout.’
    • ‘The traditional systems were based on cash accounting, not on accruals and depreciation.’
    • ‘The employer also must keep records of all CTO accrual and use.’
    • ‘He tracked his pension accruals carefully, and, in the fall of 2002, when the tech-stock fueled boom had clearly ended, he wanted to get that money out of his retirement account and into his pocket.’




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See more synonyms for accrue on

verb (used without object), ac·crued, ac·cru·ing.
  1. to happen or result as a natural growth, addition, etc.
  2. to be added as a matter of periodic gain or advantage, as interest on money.
  3. Law. to become a present and enforceable right or demand.
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Origin of accrue

1425–75; late Middle English acruen, acrewen, probably < Anglo-French accru(e), Middle French accreu(e), past participle of ac(c)reistre to increase < Latin accrēscere grow. See ac- , crew1 , accretion
Related formsac·cru·a·ble, adjectiveac·crue·ment, nounnon·ac·crued, adjectivenon·ac·cru·ing, adjectivesu·per·ac·crue, verb (used without object), su·per·ac·crued, su·per·ac·cru·ing.un·ac·crued, adjective

Synonyms for accrue

See more synonyms for on

1, 2. accumulate , collect , grow , increase .

Antonyms for accrue

1, 2. dwindle , decrease , diminish , lessen , dissipate . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for accrue

accumulate , amass , gather , flow , enlarge , increase , collect , grow

Examples from the Web for accrue

Contemporary Examples of accrue

  • You have to accrue power, use it in ethical ways, and hope that voters reward you for doing this.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Bill de Blasio Mayoral Win Signals Working Families Party Ascendancy

    David Freedlander

    November 5, 2013

  • Makes your kids want to do their chores, by allowing them to purchase prizes with the points they accrue.

    The Daily Beast logo

    The 15 Hottest New Apps at Dublin’s Web Summit

    Tom Sykes

    October 31, 2013

  • Makes your kids want to do their chores by allowing them to purchase prizes with the points they accrue.

    The Daily Beast logo

    The 15 Hottest New Apps at Dublin’s Web Summit

    Tom Sykes

    October 31, 2013

  • And Blizzard takes a 15% cut of the real-money transactions; the commissions that used to flow to eBay now accrue to them.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Diablo 3 Director Regrets Building an In-Game Market

    Megan McArdle

    March 29, 2013

  • Democratic politics are the accumulation of a great many small decisions and actions that will accrue to what seems a big picture.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Buckley, Birchers, Tea and the Fringe

    Justin Green

    December 5, 2012

Historical Examples of accrue

  • Joro was a monarchist for sentimental reasons, not for the profits that might accrue to him.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • And what glory to God, what advantage to men, could accrue from these apparitions?

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • To reveal his secret would be to destroy the prestige that must accrue to him from exercising it.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • What benefit could accrue to him from a great political convulsion?

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II)

    Charles James Lever

  • But I assume that such share of it as may accrue, will be—ha!

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for accrue


verb -crues, -cruing or -crued (intr)
  1. to increase by growth or addition, esp (of capital) to increase by periodic addition of interest
  2. (often foll by to) to fall naturally (to); come into the possession (of); result (for)
  3. law (of a right or demand) to become capable of being enforced

Word Origin for accrue

C15: from Old French accreue growth, ultimately from Latin accrēscere to increase, from ad- to, in addition + crēscere to grow
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for accrue

mid-15c., from Old French acreue “growth, increase, what has grown,” fem. of acreu, past participle of acreistre (Modern French accroître) “to increase,” from Latin accrescere (see accretion ). Related: Accrued; accruing. Apparently a verb from a French noun because there is no English verb to go with it until much later, unless the record is defective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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Nearby words for accrue

  1. accrington
  2. accroach
  3. accroides gum
  4. accrual
  5. accrual basis
  6. accrue
  7. accrued dividend
  8. accrued expense
  9. accrued income
  10. accrued interest
  11. accrued liability