One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who or thing which engages in or promotes the accumulation or gradual increase of something.
2Ecology. A plant, group of plants, or ecosystem that promotes the accretion of sediment. rare.
3Astronomy. A celestial object that gains matter by accretion; specifically the component of an interacting binary system, typically a compact star or black hole, which accretes material derived from the other component.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in American Catholic Quarterly Review. From accrete + -or.
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