\ ˈgrō How to pronounce grow (audio) \
grew\ ˈgrü How to pronounce grow (audio) \; grown\ ˈgrōn How to pronounce grow (audio) \; growing

Definition of grow

intransitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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
4a : 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

transitive verb

1a : 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

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Other Words from grow

grower \ ˈgrō(-​ə)r How to pronounce grow (audio) \ noun
growingly \ ˈgrō-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce grow (audio) \ adverb

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.

Examples of grow in a Sentence

The city is growing rapidly. The list of chores to do this weekend keeps growing. She grew intellectually and emotionally in her first year at college. It's wonderful to see how she has grown as a person since going to college. It can be hard to watch our children change as they grow. He's still just a growing boy.
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Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, the forecast for emerging and developing economies is 6.7 percent in 2021, with India expected to grow as much as 12.5 percent. NBC News, "IMF increases global growth forecast, says way out of economic crisis is 'increasingly visible'," 6 Apr. 2021 The International Energy Agency said in a recent forecast that global oil demand is expected to grow by 5.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) to 96.5 million bpd in 2021. Palash Ghosh, Forbes, "Energy Stocks Have Beaten All Other Sectors So Far This Year, But Analysts Divided Over Near-Term Outlook," 6 Apr. 2021 The number is expected to grow by 50 ships every day. Lina El Wardani, CNN, "All hands on deck as Suez locals ply food and wares to growing numbers of hungry, stranded crews," 29 Mar. 2021 As researchers continue to study the vaccines, that shelf life is expected to grow. Washington Post, "How long will the coronavirus vaccines protect you? Experts weigh in.," 29 Mar. 2021 On a positive note, state officials have said that a major surge of supply is imminent — with weekly allocations expected to grow to about 2.5 million doses over the first half of April — which will help accommodate the huge swell of people. Los Angeles Times, "‘Mad rush’ for COVID-19 vaccine is on for Californians ages 50 to 64 as expansion nears," 27 Mar. 2021 The mine has been producing about 250,000 tons in recent years, but annual production is expected to grow to 2 million tons on the federal lease. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Judge taps brakes on Utah coal mine expansion, orders climate change analysis," 27 Mar. 2021 Many industries that weathered the storm, like innovation, military, construction, and professional services are expected to grow in 2021. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Reasons for economic optimism in San Diego County coming out of the pandemic," 26 Mar. 2021 IPCWell is part of a global infection control market that is expected to grow to reach $58.2 billion by 2027, according to Meticulous Market Research. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, "Scottsdale firm helped nursing homes with infection control in midst of pandemic," 25 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of grow

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for grow

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

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Time Traveler for grow

Time Traveler

The first known use of grow was before the 12th century

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Statistics for grow

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for grow



English Language Learners 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


\ ˈgrō How to pronounce grow (audio) \
grew\ ˈgrü \; grown\ ˈgrōn \; growing

Kids Definition of grow

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 : increase entry 1, expand The city is growing rapidly.
5 : become sense 1 Grandma is growing old.
6 : to cause to grow : raise I grow tomatoes.
grow on
: to become more appealing over time
grow up
: to become an adult

Other Words from grow

grower noun


\ ˈgrō How to pronounce grow (audio) \
grew\ ˈgrü How to pronounce grow (audio) \; grown\ ˈgrōn How to pronounce grow (audio) \; growing

Medical Definition of grow

intransitive verb

1a : 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)

transitive verb

: to cause to grow grew bacteria in culture

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More from Merriam-Webster on grow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grow

Nglish: Translation of grow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grow

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