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See also: Grow



From Middle English growen, from Old English grōwan (to grow, increase, flourish, germinate), from Proto-West Germanic *grōan, from Proto-Germanic *grōaną (to grow, grow green), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰreh₁- (to grow, become green).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɡɹəʊ/, [ˈɡ̊ɹʷəʊ̯]
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɡɹoʊ/, [ˈɡ̊ɻʷoʊ̯]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊ


grow (third-person singular simple present grows, present participle growing, simple past grew or (dialectal) growed, past participle grown or (dialectal) growed)

  1. (ergative) To become larger, to increase in magnitude.
    Children grow quickly.
    • 1960 December, “Talking of trains: B.R. safety in 1959”, in Trains Illustrated, page 708:
      [...] but the dangers to trespassers, especially children, are growing, and a vigorous educational programme is urged.
  2. (ergative, of plants) To undergo growth; to be present (somewhere)
    Apples now grow all over the world.
  3. (intransitive) To appear or sprout.
    Leaf buds grew on the trees with the advance of spring.
    A long tail began to grow from his backside.
  4. (intransitive) To develop, to mature.
    As I grew throughout adolescence, I came to appreciate many things about human nature.
  5. (transitive) To cause or allow something to become bigger, especially to cultivate plants.
    He grows peppers and squash each summer in his garden.
    Have you ever grown your hair before?
    • 2011 March 1, Peter Roff, “Another Foolish Move By Congress”, in Fox News[1]:
      The Bush administration – which sought to grow the number of fisheries managed under a program known as “catch shares”...
    • 2023 July 10, James Poniewozik, “The Twitter Watch Party Is Over”, in The New York Times[2]:
      And — again to overgeneralize from my experience — users may not want a second Twitter either. I was a heavy Twitter user for over a decade. I loved it until I didn’t. I made connections, grew a following, floated ideas, had fun. But it also became a second, often angry, voice inside my head. Do I want to replace it with another one?
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:grow.
  6. (copulative) To assume a condition or quality over time.
    The boy grew wise as he matured.
    The town grew smaller and smaller in the distance as we travelled.
    You have grown strong.
    • 1967, Barbara Sleigh, Jessamy, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, published 1993, →ISBN, page 18:
      In fact she was so bus doing all the things that anyone might, who finds themselves alone in an empty house, that she did not notice at first when it began to turn dusk and the rooms to grow dim.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:grow.
  7. (intransitive, obsolete) To become attached or fixed; to adhere.


Derived terms[edit]


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  • grow”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of growen