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grow

Line breaks: grow
Pronunciation: /ɡrəʊ
 
/

Definition of grow in English:

verb (past grew /ɡruː/; past participle grown /ɡrəʊn/)

[no object]
1(Of a living thing) undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically: he would watch Nick grow to manhood (as adjective growing) the needs of the growing child (as adjective grown) grown men don’t act so stupidly
More example sentences
  • Unlike a moving fibroblast, however, the extending axon also grows in size, with an accompanying increase in the total surface area of the neuron's plasma membrane.
  • It seemed that the dot grew slightly in size as the intensity setting was increased.
  • Max's whole body had grown in size in around a minute; instead of being his usual 6'4, he was now around 7 to 8 feet tall.
1.1(Of a plant) germinate and develop: morels grow in a variety of places
More example sentences
  • Grass grew, foliage returned to trees' canopies, and blooming flowers proliferated.
  • Nitrate is the main source of nitrogen for most plant species growing in aerobic soils.
  • Grass grows well enough there, but it's usually found in raggedly in orchards, or on fields for animals to eat.
Synonyms
sprout, shoot up, spring up, develop, bud, burst forth, germinate, bloom;
emerge, arise, spread;
rare pullulate, vegetate, burgeon
1.2 [with object] Cause (plants) to germinate and develop: more land was needed to grow crops for export
More example sentences
  • Some grass is grown on the farm for hay or silage, together with swede, turnip or kale for winter forage because grass growth declines drastically in the winter.
  • These trees are easily grown from seed which germinates very quickly.
  • The range of flavors is determined by where this plant species is grown and how it's processed.
Synonyms
cultivate, produce, propagate, raise, rear, bring on, nurture, tend;
farm, plant, sow
1.3 [with object] Allow or cause (a part of the body) to grow or develop: if a newt’s leg is amputated, it will grow a new one [with object and complement]: she grew her hair long
More example sentences
  • Imagine growing a replacement body, having your head transplanted to it, and then eating the old body.
  • They are actual alien life forms exploiting the gestational nature of my body to try and grow bodies of their own.
  • In Masai culture, only warriors are allowed to grow their hair out.
2Come into existence and develop: the play grew out of a drama school project a school of painting grew up in Cuzco
More example sentences
  • Cities in Afghanistan didn't grow because of the rivers; they grew up because they were on the ring road or connected to it.
  • Second, it seeks to reverse the insidious culture of division that has grown up around the existence of these principles.
  • At some point, a complex wooden network began to grow up the walls of the entrance area.
Synonyms
originate, stem, spring, arise, have its origin, emerge, issue, spread, extend;
develop, evolve
2.1 [with infinitive] (Of a person) come to feel or think something over time: supposing we had grown to know and love nuclear power
More example sentences
  • If so, it is because you have changed or because you have grown to see the person more clearly?
  • He has quickly grown to love the work, the people it has brought him in contact with, and the region he had been waiting to return to.
  • Obviously factory work was worse because it was so bloody noisy as well, but I really grew to hate those assignments too, as people made the same mistakes over and over and over.
Synonyms
become, come to be, get to be, get, turn, start to feel
3Become larger or greater over a period of time; increase: turnover grew to more than $100,000 within three years (as adjective growing) the growing concern over ozone levels
More example sentences
  • The last has seen the highest increase in price in the last year, growing in value by 15.4%.
  • Money and its availability is usually the primary concern for all budget holders while the latter is growing in importance and complexity.
  • It's a procedure that's growing in popularity in America, and especially here in Hollywood.
3.1 [with object] Develop or expand (something, especially a business): entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their businesses
More example sentences
  • But it is the money from business that has grown the industry and accelerated the technology, not hobbying.
  • We are expanding but will grow a business to suit ourselves.
  • We cannot grow the business because if you want to grow the business you have to get more money.
Synonyms
expand, improve, advance, develop, progress, make progress, make headway;
flourish, thrive, burgeon, prosper, succeed, be successful, get on well, boom
informal go great guns, rocket, skyrocket
3.2 [with complement] Become gradually or increasingly: sharing our experiences we grew braver
More example sentences
  • It penetrated through the houses, shaking the earth and pounding the eardrums of a garbled populace which had gradually grown accustomed to the noise.
  • Initially he supported its Congregationalist ideology, but gradually grew dissatisfied.
  • A distant drumming could be heard gradually growing louder and louder.

Origin

Old English grōwan (originally referring chiefly to plants), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch groeien, also to grass and green.

More
  • grass from (Old English):

    The Old English word grass is descended from the same root word as both green and grow (Old English). According to the well-known saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, a sentiment echoed in the works of the Roman poet Ovid: ‘The harvest is always more fruitful in another man's fields.’ A woman whose husband is often away for long periods can be referred to as a grass widow. In the early 16th century, though, this was a term for an unmarried woman with a child, probably from the idea of the couple having lain on the grass together instead of in bed. People have been smoking grass, or cannabis, since the 1940s, originally in the USA. The word has meant ‘an informer’, or ‘to inform’ since the decade before that. In this sense it is probably short for grasshopper, rhyming slang for shopper, a person who ‘shops’ someone. Graze (Middle English) is from Old English grasian ‘eat grass’. See also nark

Usage

Although grow is typically used intransitively, as in he would watch Nick grow to manhood, its use as a transitive verb has long been standard in contexts which refer to growing plants and one’s hair ( more land was needed to grow crops; she grew her hair long). Recently, however, grow has extended its transitive sense and become popular in business jargon: entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their businesses.

Phrases

grow on trees

1
[usually with negative] informal Be plentiful or easily obtained: jobs don’t grow on trees
More example sentences
  • That party thinks that money just grows on trees and is there for the picking.
  • Money doesn't grow on trees, and neither does happiness or anything else worth having.
  • For four nights, every middle-class family in town forsook watching TV sitcoms to see the fireworks, and suddenly, we lived in a city where public transportation seemed to grow on trees.

Phrasal verbs

grow apart

1
(Of two or more people) become gradually estranged: he and his wife had been growing apart for at least a year
More example sentences
  • His parents gradually grew apart and his father moved to Monte Carlo while his mother, who was deaf, became an Orthodox nun.
  • In the 1930s, however, the members gradually grew apart.
  • It is the difference between growing apart and falling apart…

grow away from

2
Become gradually separated from (one’s family, friends, or background): emotionally his family had grown away from him
More example sentences
  • I'm in the military and away from home; many of my friends from home grew away from me.
  • But this is not the world that his character is trying to escape or grow away from.
  • Having expressed all your pain you grow away from it.

grow into

3
1Become as a result of natural development or gradual increase: Rome began as a city and grew into a huge empire
More example sentences
  • The whole point of America is that it didn't just grow into nationhood from the gradual merging of peoples and consolidation of lands.
  • After the better part of a decade hoping that the person I am growing into was good enough for her I had my moment of glory, and now I have my lifetime of regrets.
  • The bone cells were cultured in lab until they grew into a big enough chunk that a jeweller could carve it into a ring.

grow on

4
Become gradually more appealing to (someone): the tune grows on you
More example sentences
  • But give the director that whim, and this film grows on you gradually.
  • And the damn thing grows on you, like the most insidious radio tunes.
  • Sometimes a new car's appearance grows on you, sometimes it does not appeal at all.

grow out

5
Disappear because of normal growth: Colette’s old perm had almost grown out
More example sentences
  • They have a downward-pointing hook at the end of their upper beak that grows out and disappears by the time the nestlings fledge.
  • What are some good styling options for short relaxed hair as a perm grows out?
  • Experience has shown that each notched lobster will probably go through two breeding cycles before the mark grows out and it can legally be landed.

grow out of

6
Become too large to wear (a garment): blazers that they grew out of
More example sentences
  • Then there are doctor's bills and medicine and clothes that they grow out of practically before they have a chance to wear them.
  • If the school has a long list of uniform requirements the costs can mount up rapidly, particularly as the child might quickly grow out of an expensive blazer or need new sports shoes.
  • I made my bed thoughtfully - it was lucky I was nearing sixteen and wasn't going to be here long enough to grow out of my clothes and then be made to wear second hands.
6.1Become too mature to retain (a childish habit): most children grow out of tantrums by the time they’re three
More example sentences
  • As it happens, lying was a habit my friend grew out of.
  • It's much easier to go along with your toddler and humour his needs until he grows out of these strange habits.
  • I do blame smoking in public for my habit, alongside peer pressure - something you never grow out of.

grow up

7
Become an adult: a young girl who grew up in Texas
More example sentences
  • Longing to be an adult is part of growing up, part of the normal expression of most children's fantasy lives.
  • Would it be better to treat children like adults while they are growing up?
  • Not surprisingly, when these children grow up to be young adults, they do just that.
[often in imperative]7.1 Begin to behave or think sensibly: grow up, sister, and come into the real world
More example sentences
  • On the day when it begins to discipline itself with a self-denying ordinance we shall know it has begun to grow up.
  • Just as childhood friendships fall apart when one friend grows up faster than the other, it couldn't make the leap to next generation consoles.

Derivatives

growable

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • ‘I'd set the guy up with a growable swap file,’ he said.

Definition of grow in:

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