One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1no object Chiefly with to in early use. To increase by accretion, grow up.
no object To come by way of an addition or increase, to accrue. Chiefly of a failed share (Law, chiefly and now only Scottish Law): to pass to others (especially co-legatees), augmenting their shares. Chiefly with to.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in William Stewart (fl. 1499–1541), chronicler and poet. Probably partly from classical Latin accrēscere to increase in size, grow larger, to grow big, to grow up, to increase, (of increments) to be added, to accrue, in post-classical Latin also (transitive) to add to, and partly a variant (with short vowel) of accrease, with remodelling of the ending after verbs in -esce. With later use compare also accrescence.
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