Definition of proliferate
proliferationplay \-ˌli-fə-ˈrā-shən\ noun
proliferate was our Word of the Day on 03/11/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of proliferate in a Sentence
rumors about the incident proliferated on the Internet
Recent Examples of proliferate from the Web
This behavior proliferated the prescription of opioids and fueled the opioid epidemic Ohio is currently facing.
But gigabit speeds have become a gold standard for internet service as household gadgets proliferate and put more demands on homes' connections.
Innovations is a twist on the tradition STEM programs proliferating nationwide.
The reevaluation of the role of ICBMs in America’s defense comes in an era when nuclear weapons are proliferating, not fading away.
Small floating cities already proliferate on our oceans.
As the 20th century dawned, and Americans embraced the promise of apolitical government expertise, administrative agencies and bureaus proliferated — among them the tiny Bureau of Investigation.
Trump’s main message was that Muslims must do more—much more—to fight militants who have proliferated from North Africa to South Asia since 9/11.
Many of those ideas foundered when the Internet bubble popped — and broadband delivered over phone and cable lines proliferated.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proliferate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Proliferate came about in 1873 as a back-formation of "proliferation." That means that "proliferation" came first (we borrowed it from French in the 1850s) and was later shortened to form the verb "proliferate." Ultimately these terms come from Latin. The French adjective prolifère ("reproducing freely") comes from the Latin noun proles and the Latin combining form "-fer." Proles means "offspring" or "descendants," and -fer means "bearing." Both of these Latin forms gave rise to numerous other English words. "Prolific" and "proletarian" ultimately come from "proles"; "aquifer" and words ending in "-ferous" have their roots in "-fer."
Origin and Etymology of proliferate
back-formation from proliferation, from French prolifération, from proliférer to proliferate, from prolifère reproducing freely, from Latin proles + -fer -ferous
First Known Use: 1866
PROLIFERATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of proliferate for English Language Learners
: to increase in number or amount quickly
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