grow

verb
\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Another potential hitch: retail sales can’t commence until there’s an aggregate of 250,000 square feet of grow and manufacture space in Connecticut that’s devoted to the adult-use market. Erica E. Phillips, Hartford Courant, 24 May 2022 How many more of our youngest must pay the price before our Republican colleagues finally grow a backbone and join us in action to curb the gun violence epidemic and protect our communities? Brett Clarkson, Sun Sentinel, 24 May 2022 Over time, most stocks or bonds will ultimately increase in value as the underlying companies grow and become more profitable. Rob Wile, NBC News, 22 May 2022 After a few years in quarantine spent learning to grow kale and hypothesizing about the end of the world, Australia’s leading electronic experimentalist and alt-pop crusader is back with another expressive, expansive and exotic collection of sounds. Kat Bein, Billboard, 20 May 2022 The Operate platform is used to grow and engage the user base and to also monetize content. Beth Kindig, Forbes, 20 May 2022 This show has continued to grow and expand and challenge its own genre and tone. Anatola Araba Pabst, ELLE, 20 May 2022 Powerful, erratic winds pushed the burn, ignited in a forest of ponderosa pines, to grow out of control and merge with another nearby wildfire. Dan Frosch, WSJ, 20 May 2022 Homemade formulas also do not contain the correct ratio of nutrients that babies need to grow and thrive. Julie Washington, cleveland, 19 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About grow

Time Traveler for grow

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near grow

grovy

grow

growable

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for grow

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grow. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for grow

grow

verb
\ 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

grow

verb
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on grow

Nglish: Translation of grow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grow for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!