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 Fire seasons, once confined to the hot summer, are growing longer—something many scientists ascribe to climate change. The Economist, "Unprecedented Australian bushfires stoke a debate about climate change," 16 Nov. 2019 As the trees and shrubs grow, so will the students’ ability to see connections between a place’s flora and broader metrics of environmental quality. Gabriel Popkin, Washington Post, "For D.C. students, lessons in growth, of the garden variety," 16 Nov. 2019 As the game wore on and Auburn’s lead grew, Okoro got more confident with his shots and went in for several dunks. Giana Han, al, "5 takeaways from Auburn’s 116-70 win over CSUN," 16 Nov. 2019 The Rockets quickly grew skeptical, however, amid concerns about Anthony’s ability to fit into coach Mike D’Antoni’s system that calls for more 3-pointers and fewer mid-range shots. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "LeBron James: 'Everyone had doubt' whether an NBA team would sign Carmelo Anthony," 16 Nov. 2019 Investors have been encouraged by surprisingly good corporate earnings, three interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and data showing the economy is still growing solidly. Alex Veiga, SFChronicle.com, "Amid many market milestones, Dow tops 28,000," 15 Nov. 2019 That number grows to seven if counting New Line's 2003 effort Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.13 billion). Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office Milestone: 'Joker' Crossing $1 Billion Globally," 15 Nov. 2019 Their fears grew when Jeanine Añez Chavez, an opposition senator, swiftly proclaimed herself the country’s interim president on Tuesday, promising to unite the nation and to call new elections in January. Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, "Ethnic Rifts in Bolivia Burst Into View With Fall of Evo Morales," 15 Nov. 2019 Financial disclosure reports filed by the president show revenue is barely growing, up just $1 million last year, to $76 million. CBS News, "Despite Trump hotel lawsuits, RNC will hold winter meetings at one in Florida," 15 Nov. 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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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

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Grow.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/growers. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for grow

grow

verb
How to pronounce grow (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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