grow

verb

grew ˈgrü How to pronounce grow (audio) ; grown ˈgrōn How to pronounce grow (audio) ; growing

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: to increase in size by assimilation of material into the living organism or by accretion of material in a non-biological 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
4
a
: 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

1
a
: 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 successfullyJ. L. Deckter
grower noun
growingly adverb

Did you know?

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.

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Recognizing that employees want to learn and grow in their roles is critical for businesses. Dave Merkel, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 After watching a relationship grow onstage between the two performers, there is a mutual understanding of their dependence on each other. Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2023 The German economy will grow this year and might even avoid a shallow recession in the short term, the government said on Wednesday, the latest sign of brightening growth prospects in Europe despite the shock of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Tom Fairless, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2023 Check out our guides to the best hair products, how to make your hair grow fast and how to fix damaged hair. Marielle Marlys, Good Housekeeping, 24 Jan. 2023 The company, impacted by an economic downturn like other major tech and streaming companies, added 2.3 million active accounts during the third quarter last year but saw operating losses grow to $147 million. J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2023 But this strategy also means fewer eggs, at least until new chicks grow into hens. Yasmin Tayag, The Atlantic, 24 Jan. 2023 Larry Rodriguez, the President of the Dallas Producers Association, a professional networking organization for producers and production staff, would like to see the Texas incentive program grow more robust in order to attract more movie productions. Elina Bougas, Dallas News, 24 Jan. 2023 This style is always trending, says nail artist Hang Nguyen—especially with florals and spring and summer grow ever closer! Addison Aloian, Women's Health, 23 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Old English grōwan; akin to Old High German gruowan to grow

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near grow

Cite this Entry

“Grow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grow. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

grow

verb
grew ˈgrü How to pronounce grow (audio) ; grown ˈgrōn How to pronounce grow (audio) ; growing
1
a
: to spring up and develop to maturity
b
: to be able to grow in some place or situation
rice grows in water
c
: to take on some relation through or as if through growth
a tree with limbs grown together
2
: increase entry 1 sense 1, expand
the city is growing rapidly
grows in wisdom
3
: originate sense 2
the project grew out of a mere suggestion
4
a
: to pass into a condition : become
grew pale
b
: to have an increasing influence
habits grow on you
5
: to cause to grow : cultivate, raise
grow wheat
grower noun

Medical Definition

grow

verb
grew ˈgrü How to pronounce grow (audio) ; grown ˈgrōn How to pronounce grow (audio) ; growing

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on grow

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