Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb, \ˈgrō\

Simple Definition of grow

  • : to become larger : to increase in size, amount, etc.

  • : to become better or improved in some way : to become more developed, mature, etc.

  • : to become larger and change from being a child to being an adult as time passes : to pass from childhood to adulthood

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of grow

grew play \ˈgrü\ grown play \ˈgrōn\ growing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to spring up and develop to maturity b :  to be able to grow in some place or situation <trees that grow in the tropics> c :  to assume some relation through or as if through a process of natural growth <ferns growing from the rocks>

  3. 2 a :  to increase in size by assimilation of material into the living organism or by accretion of material in a nonbiological process (as crystallization) b :  increase, expand <grows in wisdom>

  4. 3 :  to develop from a parent source <the book grew out of a series of lectures>

  5. 4 a :  to pass into a condition :  become <grew pale> b :  to have an increasing influence <habit grows on a person> c :  to become increasingly acceptable or attractive <didn't like it at first, but it grew on him>

  6. transitive verb
  7. 1 a :  to cause to grow <grow wheat> b :  to let grow on the body <grew a beard>

  8. 2 :  to promote the development of <start a business and grow it successfully — J. L. Deckter>

grower play \ˈgrō(-ə)r\ noun
growingly play \ˈgrō-iŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of grow in a sentence

  1. The city is growing rapidly.

  2. The list of chores to do this weekend keeps growing.

  3. She grew intellectually and emotionally in her first year at college.

  4. It's wonderful to see how she has grown as a person since going to college.

  5. It can be hard to watch our children change as they grow.

  6. He's still just a growing boy.

Origin of grow

Middle English, from Old English grōwan; akin to Old High German gruowan to grow

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with grow

GROW Defined for Kids


verb \ˈgrō\

Definition of grow for Students

grew \ˈgrü\grown \ˈgrōn\growing

  1. 1 :  to spring up and develop to maturity

  2. 2 :  to be able to live and develop <Most algae grow in water.>

  3. 3 :  to be related in some way by reason of growing <The tree branches have grown together.>

  4. 4 :  1increase, expand <The city is growing rapidly.>

  5. 5 :  become 1 <Grandma is growing old.>

  6. 6 :  to cause to grow :  raise <I grow tomatoes.>

grower noun
grow on
  1. :  to become more appealing over time

grow up
  1. :  to become an adult

Medical Dictionary


verb \ˈgrō\

Medical Definition of grow

grew \ˈgrü\play ; grown \ˈgrōn\play ; growing

  1. 1

  2. intransitive verb

  3. a:  to spring up and develop to maturityb:  to be able to grow in some place or situationc:  to assume some relation through or as if through a process of natural growth <the cut edges of the wound grew together>

  4. 2:  to increase in size by addition of material by assimilation into the living organism or by accretion in a non-biological process (as crystallization)

  5. transitive verb

  6. :  to cause to grow <grew bacteria in culture>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up grow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to dishevel or rumple

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe perplex reduce disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.