grow

verb \ ˈgrō \
Updated on: 10 Apr 2018

Definition of grow

grew play \ˈgrü\; grown play \ˈgrōn\; growing
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
2 a : to increase in size by assimilation of material into the living organism or by accretion of material in a nonbiological process (such as crystallization)
  • The tree grew to an immense size.
b : increase, expand
  • grows in wisdom
3 : to develop from a parent source
  • the book grew out of a series of lectures
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
1 a : to cause to grow
  • grow wheat
b : to let grow on the body
  • grew a beard
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.

Recent Examples of grow from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Is grow a transitive verb?

Some people feel queasy when encountering grow used transitively (as in “grow the economy”). While it may grate on the ears of many, grow has existed as a transitive verb for hundreds of years, initially in relation to such things as crops, then to facial hair and the like, and finally to a small variety of other things (such as a business or the economy). The transitive form of grow sounds peculiar to many people, and you may certainly avoid using it, but it is wrong to state, as some do, that it is always improper or that it does not exist.

Origin and Etymology of grow

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


GROW Defined for English Language Learners

grow

Definition of grow for English Language Learners

  • : 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


GROW Defined for Kids

grow

verb \ ˈgrō \

Definition of grow for Students

grew \ˈgrü\; grown \ˈgrōn\; growing
1 : to spring up and develop to maturity
2 : to be able to live and develop
  • Most algae grow in water.
3 : to be related in some way by reason of growing
  • The tree branches have grown together.
4 : 1increase, expand
  • The city is growing rapidly.
5 : become 1
  • Grandma is growing old.
6 : to cause to grow : raise
  • I grow tomatoes.

grower

noun
grow on
: to become more appealing over time
grow up
: to become an adult

Medical Dictionary

grow

verb \ ˈgrō \

medical Definition of grow

grew play \ˈgrü\; grown play \ˈgrōn\; growing
1 a : to spring up and develop to maturity
b : to be able to grow in some place or situation
c : to assume some relation through or as if through a process of natural growth
  • the cut edges of the wound grew together
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)
: 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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak or write verbosely and windily

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!