Share this entry

Share this page

proliferation

Syllabification: pro·lif·er·a·tion
Pronunciation: /prəˌlifəˈrāSH(ə)n
 
/

Definition of proliferation in English:

noun

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.

Origin

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

Definition of proliferation in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing