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

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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 The use of artificial intelligence is poised to grow, lead to additional innovation, and drive the future of digital advertising. Charles Taylor, Forbes, "How Online Privacy Issues Will Shape Future Use Of Artificial Intelligence In Advertising," 1 Mar. 2021 But since many attributes of high-dimensional shapes grow exponentially as the dimension grows, a square root’s worth of growth is modest by comparison. Quanta Magazine, "Statistics Postdoc Tames Decades-Old Geometry Problem," 1 Mar. 2021 Oxford Economics predicts output will grow 7% this year, which would be the strongest growth in decades. Josh Mitchell, WSJ, "Boost to Household Income Primes U.S. Economy for Stronger Growth," 26 Feb. 2021 Lakewood’s 20-year strategic plan to grow, preserve and manage its urban forest includes increasing the tree canopy cover more than 5 percent to 33.5 percent by 2035. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood receives Tree City USA designation, touts urban forestry commitment," 26 Feb. 2021 While consoling each other over the recent loss of their spouses, a man and a woman grow close and fall in love. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Gandhi’; ‘Forrest Gump’ and more," 26 Feb. 2021 One area of disagreement concerns whether the five medical marijuana operators already permitted to grow, process and sell medical cannabis in the state will be allowed to sell to recreational users. Washington Post, "Marijuana bills in flux as Virginia’s legislative session nears end," 26 Feb. 2021 The bitter, combative rhetoric is helping the officials grow their constituencies on social media and gain outsized influence in their communities, city councils, county boards and state assemblies. Garance Burke, Star Tribune, "Some local GOP leaders fire up base with conspiracies, lies," 25 Feb. 2021 Hardiness depends on variety, but most grow in Zones 5-9. Lauren Dunec Hoang, Better Homes & Gardens, "Expert Tips for Growing and Designing With Beautiful Boxwood," 25 Feb. 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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Learn More about grow

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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grow. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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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 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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