Definition of proliferation in English:


Syllabification: pro·lif·er·a·tion
Pronunciation: /prəˌlifəˈrāSHən


  • 1Rapid increase in numbers: a continuing threat of nuclear proliferation
    More example sentences
    • The threat of nuclear proliferation will abate as dangerous stockpiles of atomic weapons are quickly used up.
    • He wants to stop nuclear proliferation with more nuclear proliferation.
    • Meanwhile, proliferation was increasing the danger of nuclear terrorism.
  • 1.1Rapid reproduction of a cell, part, or organism: we attempted to measure cell proliferation
    More example sentences
    • Multicellular organisms grow through both proliferation and growth of their individual cells.
    • In vitro experiments on cell proliferation, membrane properties, and ion channels are difficult to extrapolate to humans.
    • Apoptosis is a ubiquitous process by which multicellular organisms are able to maintain a balance between cell proliferation and death.
  • 1.2 [in singular] A large number of something: stress levels are high, forcing upon them a proliferation of ailments
    More example sentences
    • Smith said both resorts suffered from a proliferation of poor quality housing, especially old guesthouses filled by the homeless.
    • Hence, the expansion of the number of countries led to a proliferation of currencies.
    • There is a proliferation of religious discourses centering on spirits, spirit possession, and witchcraft.


mid 19th century: from French prolifération, from prolifère 'proliferous'.

More definitions of proliferation

Definition of proliferation in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little