One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1rare The process or fact of growing by accretion or addition. Now rare.
2Something which grows on or is attached to another by accretion.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Barnabe Barnes (bap. 1571, d. 1609), poet and playwright. From post-classical Latin accrescentia increase, addition from classical Latin accrēscent-, accrēscēns, present participle of accrēscere + -ia; compare -ence.
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