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

The growing power of the issue has showed itself most clearly in local elections. Laura Krantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Youth activists push gun control to forefront of 2020 campaign," 13 July 2019 YouTube began offering the feature in summer 2018, in response to the growing popularity of fan support sites like Patreon. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "YouTube just made it easier to quit your job," 13 July 2019 The soaring cost of drugs has been front and center in the growing national debate about revamping U.S. health care. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Here’s how you can lower your prescription costs, with your doctor’s help," 13 July 2019 Starting earlier and running longer seems a way for Broward to answer the growing popularity of Miami Spice, which also starts Aug. 1 and last year had more than 250 participating restaurants. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Lauderdale Spice? Annual Broward restaurant promotion starts Aug. 1, expands to two months," 12 July 2019 The Democratic leader has instead advocated for her party to continue investigating the president, even as a growing number of her caucus calls for an inquiry to be opened. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony is delayed by a week," 12 July 2019 Cocaine used to be heavily trafficked through the Caribbean, but increased law enforcement attention and the growing power of Mexican drug cartels have contributed to the shift to the Pacific. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pence praises Coast Guard drug seizure efforts and criticizes immigration system during San Diego visit," 12 July 2019 More on Amazon Prime Day: The growing reach of Amazon Prime has transformed the service into one of the biggest commercial forces in the country, with third-party merchants eager to tap Amazon's huge customer base. Sarah Min, CBS News, "America's new majority: More than half of U.S. households will be Prime members in 2019," 12 July 2019 Federal spending has risen — particularly for national defense and health care programs — and so have the interest costs on the growing national debt. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "Government Could Breach Debt Ceiling in September, Mnuchin Warns," 12 July 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

16 Jul 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

What made you want to look up grow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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