grow

verb
\ ˈgrō How to pronounce grow (audio) \
grew\ ˈgrü How to pronounce grew (audio) \; grown\ ˈgrōn How to pronounce grown (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 grower (audio) \ noun
growingly \ ˈgrō-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce growingly (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

But recent changes have fundamentally weakened the Reef's ability to protect itself and grow. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Change Has Fundamentally Weakened The Great Barrier Reef," 4 Apr. 2019 For Williams, though, shaking off judgement is something she's grown accustomed to. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Serena Williams Opens Up About Her 'Wild' Daughter Olympia and Dealing With Mommy Shamers," 3 Apr. 2019 The Democratic primary field seems to be growing by the week, but not every candidate is guaranteed a spot in the first primary debates. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Which Democratic Candidates Have Qualified for the Primary Debates at This Point?," 29 Mar. 2019 The restaurant—featuring vegetables grown on the farm, meats and charcuterie from the ranch, and homemade ice cream—is a charming outdoor affair where diners sit under palapas surrounded by gardens. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "A Design Lover's Guide to the Baja Peninsula," 29 Mar. 2019 These trees can become as tall as 15-25 feet high and can grow between 1-2 feet a year. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Home Depot is Selling Cherry Blossom Trees For Just $39," 27 Mar. 2019 Recently, the supermodel updated fans with an important announcement: their family was growing by one! Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Coach John Legend Is 'Not Thrilled' About the New Member of His Family," 23 Mar. 2019 France, with newfound support from Germany, wants the EU to protect itself more robustly against China’s growing economic and political clout. Marcus Walker, WSJ, "EU Grapples With Discord on How to Treat China," 19 Mar. 2019 But that’s a function of timing for the many buildings underway; a record 4.5 million square feet of office is set to open in 2019, led by Amazon’s growing campus and new expansions for Facebook and Google. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle construction still booming and won’t end anytime soon," 19 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for grow

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grow

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

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More Definitions for grow

grow

verb

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

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 grew (audio) \; grown\ ˈgrōn How to pronounce grown (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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grow

Spanish Central: Translation of grow

Nglish: Translation of grow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on grow

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