accretion

The process of increasing can be called accretion. Although you may say that stalactites "grow" from the ceilings of caves, they actually form from an accretion of limestone and other minerals.

So what's the difference between an addition and an accretion? Addition implies adding to something that already exists, such as an addition to the cast (when a new actor joins an existing show). The noun accretion, on the other hand, implies an accumulation that causes increase, such as "an accretion of frost on the windows" or "an accretion of plaque on your teeth." The latter, of course, is why the dentist always begs you to floss and brush.

Definitions of accretion
  1. noun
    an increase by natural growth or addition
    synonyms: accumulation
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    types:
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    backup
    an accumulation caused by clogging or a stoppage
    buildup
    the result of the process of accumulation
    deposit, deposition
    the natural process of laying down a deposit of something
    electrodeposition
    the deposition of a substance on an electrode by the action of electricity (especially by electrolysis)
    pigmentation
    the deposition of pigment in animals or plants or human beings
    redeposition
    deposition from one deposit to another
    superposition
    (geology) the deposition of one geological stratum on another
    type of:
    growth, increase, increment
    a process of becoming larger or longer or more numerous or more important
  2. noun
    (geology) an increase in land resulting from alluvial deposits or waterborne sediment
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    type of:
    growth, increase, increment
    a process of becoming larger or longer or more numerous or more important
  3. noun
    (biology) growth by addition as by the adhesion of parts or particles
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    type of:
    growth, increase, increment
    a process of becoming larger or longer or more numerous or more important
  4. noun
    (astronomy) the formation of a celestial object by the effect of gravity pulling together surrounding objects and gases
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    type of:
    growth, increase, increment
    a process of becoming larger or longer or more numerous or more important
  5. noun
    (law) an increase in a beneficiary's share in an estate (as when a co-beneficiary dies or fails to meet some condition or rejects the inheritance)
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    type of:
    heritage, inheritance
    that which is inherited; a title or property or estate that passes by law to the heir on the death of the owner
  6. noun
    something contributing to growth or increase
    “he scraped away the accretions of paint”
    “the central city surrounded by recent accretions
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    type of:
    addition, gain, increase
    a quantity that is added
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