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A preferred stock where the publicly-traded company must pay all dividends. If a company misses a dividend payment for any reason, it still owes it to cumulative preferred stockholders. That is, all dividends that were "skipped" must be paid to cumulative preferred stockholders before any dividends are paid to common stock holders. This contrasts with non-cumulative preferred stock, where stockholders must forgo dividend payments that are missed. Most preferred stock is cumulative.
Of or relating to preferred stock and income bonds on which dividends must be paid in full before any payment of dividends is made to common stockholders. Thus, any dividends that are passed eventually must be brought up to date before common stockholders may receive payments. Nearly all issues of preferred stock are cumulative. Compare noncumulative. See also dividends in arrears.