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cumulative (adj) increasing over a period by addition; including all the quantities that have been added over a period previously.

If, over a period, a thing grows in size, in quantity, or in number, because of successive additions, its growth is cumulative. If a number of things, over a period, all add together, and produce an effect, the effect is cumulative. 'His cancer is the cumulative effect of his smoking, diabetes, his fatness, and hypertension.' This means that all these together over a period caused his cancer.

  • Gathering knowledge is a cumulative affair. As you grow, you have more and more experiences, read more and more books, and come across more and more different kinds of people. All these result in the addition to your knowledge and make it cumulative.
  • At the end of every six-month period, the company assesses the performances of it sales personnel on the basis of the monthly sales and the cumulative sales figure for the six-moth period, to have an idea of the profitability of their policies.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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