Simple Definition of proliferate
: to increase in number or amount quickly
Full Definition of proliferate
proliferationplay \-ˌli-fə-ˈrā-shən\ noun
proliferativeplay \-ˈli-fə-ˌrā-tiv, -f(ə-)rə-tiv\ adjective
Examples of proliferate in a sentence
<rumors about the incident proliferated on the Internet>
Did You Know?
Proliferate came about in 1873 as a back-formation of "proliferation." That means that "proliferation" came first (we borrowed it from French in the 1850s) and was later shortened to form the verb "proliferate." Ultimately these terms come from Latin. The French adjective prolifère ("reproducing freely") comes from the Latin noun proles and the Latin combining form "-fer." Proles means "offspring" or "descendants," and -fer means "bearing." Both of these Latin forms gave rise to numerous other English words. "Prolific" and "proletarian" ultimately come from "proles"; "aquifer" and words ending in "-ferous" have their roots in "-fer."
Origin and Etymology of proliferate
back-formation from proliferation, from French prolifération, from proliférer to proliferate, from prolifère reproducing freely, from Latin proles + -fer -ferous
First Known Use: 1873
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