1.a. Growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion.
b. Something contributing to such growth or increase: “the accretions of paint that had buried the door’s details like snow” (Christopher Andreae).
2. Biology The growing together or adherence of parts that are normally separate.
3. Geology a. Slow addition to land by deposition of water-borne sediment.
b. An increase of land along the shores of a body of water, as by alluvial deposit.
Astronomy An increase in the mass of a celestial object by the collection of surrounding interstellar gases and objects by gravity.
1. Constituting or amounting to a whole; total: aggregate sales in that market.
2. Botany Crowded or massed into a dense cluster.
3. Composed of a mixture of minerals separable by mechanical means.
n. pl. al·le·go·ries
1.a. The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.
b. A story, picture, or play employing such representation. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick are allegories.
2. A symbolic representation: The blindfolded figure with scales is an allegory of justice.
1. A favorable and especially unduly high opinion of one’s own abilities or worth.2. An ingenious or witty turn of phrase or thought.
3.a. A fanciful poetic image, especially an elaborate or exaggerated comparison.
b. A poem or passage consisting of such an image.
4.a. The result of intellectual activity; a thought or an opinion.
b. A fanciful thought or idea.
5.a. A fancy article; a knickknack.
b. An extravagant, fanciful, and elaborate construction or structure: “An eccentric addition to the lobby is a life-size wooden horse, a 19th century conceit” (Mimi Sheraton).
1.a. An event that may occur but that is not likely or intended; a possibility.
b. A possibility that must be prepared for; a future emergency.
2. The condition of being dependent on chance; uncertainty.
3. Something incidental to something else.
1. Contrary to what intuition or common sense would indicate: “Scientists made clear what may at first seem counterintuitive, that the capacity to be pleasant toward a fellow creature is … hard work” (Natalie Angier).
n. pl. de·i·ties
1. A god or goddess.
2.a. The essential nature or condition of being a god; divinity.
b. Deity God. Used with the.
adj. also Del·phi·an
1. Greek Mythology Of or relating to Delphi or to the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
2. Obscurely prophetic; oracular: made a great deal of Delphic pronouncements.
1. Covering a wide field of subjects; rambling.
2. Proceeding to a conclusion through reason rather than intuition.
v. dis·sim·u·lat·ed, dis·sim·u·lat·ing, dis·sim·u·lates
1. To disguise (one’s intentions, for example) under a feigned appearance.v.intr.
2. To conceal one’s true feelings or intentions.
1. To express or extract the essential form of.
1. The predominant influence, as of a state, region, or group, over another or others.
v. pro·lif·er·at·ed, pro·lif·er·at·ing, pro·lif·er·ates
1. To grow or multiply by rapidly producing new tissue, parts, cells, or offspring.
2. To increase or spread at a rapid rate: fears that nuclear weapons might proliferate.
To cause to grow or increase rapidly.
1. The state of having a distinct identity; individuality.
2. The fully developed self; an achieved personality.
3. Self-centeredness: “the cult of selfhood that became fashionable in the 1960s” (David Rankin).
1.a. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.
b. An instance of such repetition.
2. Logic An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow.