Definition of grow in English:


See synonyms for grow

Translate grow into Spanish

intransitive verbgrew/ɡro͞o/ /ɡru/ , grown/ɡrōn/ /ɡroʊn/

[no object]
  • 1(of a living thing) undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically; progress to maturity.

    ‘he would watch Nick grow to manhood’
    • ‘the stupidity of grown men hitting a ball with a stick’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is because of this energy that all natural things can grow and flourish.’
    • ‘It is during this phase that prolamellar bodies grow in size and get their regular shape.’
    • ‘The polypides of living stenolaemates grow inwardly from skeletal apertures.’
    • ‘He grew to nearly twice his original size, his teeth grew long and sharp, talons erupted from his finger tips, and his nose stretched into a snout.’
    • ‘But his tumor recently grew again and he underwent radiation therapy.’
    • ‘The creature grows to a tremendous size, begins sucking down the exhaust from some towering smokestacks, and generally wreaks havoc.’
    • ‘In 6 to 12 months, natural bone grows to replace the synthetic ceramic.’
    • ‘The ghost shrimp grows to the size of a small hand, and is mostly white, with a streak of red that runs down its body.’
    • ‘I'm embarrassed in front of all these people that two grown men allowed a situation like this to escalate the way it did.’
    get bigger, get taller, get larger, increase in size, increase in weight, fill out, fatten
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a plant) germinate and develop.
      ‘seaweed grows in the ocean’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Grass was growing well in places where the work had been completed.’
      • ‘Grass is growing from gutters and belfry, and windows need to be replaced.’
      • ‘Grass will never grow well under the viaducts, and attempting to make it do so contributes nothing to the beautification of the city.’
      • ‘Grass still grew in it; it just looked as though someone had taken a fifteen by fifteen scoop out of the ground and surrounded it by berry bushes.’
      • ‘Plant species growing in the semi-arid regions of the world need to be adapted to an environment in which drought strongly affects plant growth.’
      • ‘I'm trying to make the grass grow, and green plants produce oxygen, and that's supposed to help the environment.’
      • ‘While I've been under the weather things have been growing in the fields and hedges, turning my little world back to a green and pleasant place.’
      • ‘It grows in pastures, cultivated fields, and waste places.’
      • ‘Keeping the Valentine's Day rose crop warm while it grows requires a lot of heat.’
      • ‘Until a seed imbibes water and begins to grow, weeders and cultivators have little effect.’
      • ‘You'll have cross-pollination to other canola crops that might be growing alongside roadsides and so on.’
      • ‘They spent a lot of the time talking about their farms, telling us how business was bad, and how long it took for various crops to grow, and other information like that.’
      • ‘The newly surfaced weed seeds that had been laying dormant deep in the soil will often not begin to grow until after the crop gets started.’
      • ‘It is very useful indeed and, unlike cotton, doesn't need chemical fertilisers to grow and yield a crop.’
      • ‘Droughts cause crops to fail, while crops that do grow often are not gathered because of civil wars fought in the name of the starving.’
      • ‘Crops no longer grew, and the fish in the sea turned belly-up dead.’
      • ‘The land in all its splendour was rich and the dark red soil held all the rain and mist which seeped into the ground feeding the crops that grew in abundance.’
      sprout, shoot up, spring up, develop, bud, burst forth, germinate, bloom
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    2. 1.2with object Produce by cultivation.
      ‘more and more land was needed to grow crops for export’
      • ‘However, they are impossible to grow through artificial cultivation.’
      • ‘He is a Madison, South Dakota, farmer who grows certified organic crops.’
      • ‘If we choose fresh, organic, locally grown crops we are supporting gardeners and farmers who choose to maintain our right to good food.’
      • ‘Farmers may diversify by changing the crops they grow, the kinds of products they trade, or the places they live.’
      • ‘Many small farmers, both Indian and Ladino, have replaced traditional subsistence crops with those grown for export.’
      • ‘He also raises 300 fed cattle, 300 nanny goats and grows 350 acres of crops.’
      • ‘Commercially, the betel leaf crop is a labour intensive crop, grown in areas with abundant water.’
      • ‘Earlier, farmers used to grow only one sorghum crop.’
      • ‘Over the course of the year they grow over 50 different crops.’
      • ‘At the same time, farmers should display a greater sense of discipline by listening to government suggestions while deciding what crops to grow.’
      • ‘These crops are harder to grow, requiring more money, water and skill.’
      • ‘Are you a certified organic producer and wondering whether and where you can obtain organic seed of the crops you plan to grow?’
      • ‘Producers must understand the crops they grow and the amount of water used.’
      • ‘For home gardeners, the best news is broccoli is one of the easiest crops to grow.’
      • ‘In a dry situation, durum is usually the best crop to grow because it is the most drought tolerant.’
      • ‘They grew and sold their crops for a small profit, one that anyone could afford.’
      • ‘Cultivated grapes cannot be grown profitably without the use of fungicides to control grape powdery mildew.’
      • ‘He will advise farmers which crops to grow for heating and power generation, how to access grants and the potential pitfalls of growing alternative crops.’
      • ‘Its warmth allows us to grow food, build shelters, and clothe ourselves.’
      • ‘The following should allow you to grow an attractive well shaped and sized bush with large lovely blooms.’
      cultivate, produce, propagate, raise, rear, bring on, nurture, tend
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    3. 1.3with object Allow or cause (a part of the body) to grow or develop.
      with object and complement ‘she grew her hair long’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In fact, those guys were allowed to grow facial hair as well.’
      • ‘At least they'd have probably been allowed to grow their hair long again.’
      • ‘A recent decision in Victoria has allowed the police to grow their hair, so long as they keep it in bun while on duty.’
      • ‘In that split second of my unleashing the wrath of God on this poor soul, she became covered with copious body hair, grew fangs and proceeded to turn into Mrs. Jekyll.’
      • ‘The myth tells that it is slowly growing its body back and when the body is complete, the Incas will return to rule their land.’
      • ‘The doctor then asked her where on her body she was growing hair.’
      • ‘My hair I had once again allowed to grow long and my body was also becoming that of a woman.’
      • ‘Employers can, for example, require that men wear short hair, while allowing women to grow theirs long.’
      • ‘It happens when, for unknown reasons, the body's immune system attacks the cells that grow hair.’
      • ‘So when she couldn't get up the tree, she unwittingly wished for more help, and her body responded by growing a tail.’
      • ‘Once in the body, they could meld and warp the body to grow wings.’
      • ‘Pilots are typically not allowed to grow a beard because it prevents the oxygen mask from fitting properly.’
      • ‘They discovered he had grown a beard and allowed his hair to grow long.’
  • 2Become larger or greater over a period of time; increase.

    ‘turnover grew to more than $100,000 within three years’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And the move has been a success for both parties, with Rhodes growing in stature as the Knights push towards the play-offs.’
    • ‘Yet in an increasingly sedentary society, riding is a healthy pastime which is growing in popularity, particularly among the young.’
    • ‘It also presages a debate that is growing in not only environmentalist circles, but in religious ones as well.’
    • ‘The price of property in the town has been the fastest growing in Yorkshire over the past year with prices having risen by 52 per cent.’
    • ‘The Boston division has been the fastest growing in the United States over the last ten years with 140,000 passenger trips made a day.’
    • ‘The unemployment rate, which is growing in almost all East European countries, is decreasing in Bulgaria.’
    • ‘But there are fears that indicators such as these, which are growing in popularity, are self-fulfilling.’
    • ‘The book festival has been growing in weight and clout.’
    • ‘Far from disappearing, they seem to be growing in number.’
    • ‘The county is the fastest growing in Ireland but, in recent years, it has only been possible to guess at the population level.’
    • ‘She said that for a small company, at the time, to be recognised as the fastest growing in Ireland was an amazing success.’
    • ‘The total road length is around 5,000 km, which is not growing in proportion with vehicle growth.’
    • ‘There's an air of aggressiveness about this annual ceremony, growing in intensity year by year, that I find disturbing.’
    • ‘To this end, he focused on a genre that was rapidly growing in popularity amongst the patrons of such libraries, that of escapist romance.’
    • ‘The show has been growing in stature over the years and is today easily the most awaited talent search event among young rock bands.’
    • ‘The Indian economy is among the fastest growing in the world today.’
    • ‘You might not yet have heard of a house concert, but it is a form of musical entertainment that is quickly growing in popularity.’
    get bigger, get taller, get larger, increase in size, increase in weight, fill out, fatten
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1with object Cause (something, especially a business) to expand or increase.
      ‘entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their businesses’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How do we not only grow our business but also expand our vision of who our customers are?’
      • ‘The report stated that while last year was a difficult year, most companies managed to grow their businesses and were quite upbeat about the future.’
      • ‘The third is promoting the use of concrete and growing your business.’
      • ‘This group is primarily for young professionals and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business and their success network.’
      • ‘Without a lot of money with which to advertise, how can I grow my business?’
      • ‘It will be a challenge to grow the business in the increasingly complex medical device imaging marketplace.’
      • ‘The company, which opened the offer this week, will use the money raised to grow its Australasian business and expand further overseas.’
      • ‘Is this a good time for retailers to look at growing their business by getting into the seed treatment business?’
      • ‘While that information was interesting, it will not help me in starting and growing a business here.’
      • ‘Company leaders must overcome this obstacle if they are to continue growing their business.’
      • ‘Are some places really better than others for starting and growing a business?’
      • ‘We also grew the student body by one-third, from 180 students to 240.’
      • ‘How are you supposed to have the time or energy to keep your body in shape while growing a company?’
      • ‘Next year, a 6 per cent rise in sales should allow IBM to grow earnings per share by 14 per cent.’
      • ‘Analysts are of the opinion that the separation would allow the company to grow its nascent mobile and internet operations more aggressively.’
      • ‘In fact, good statesmanship allowed me to grow my coffers to rival the papacy - all without attacking across borders.’
      • ‘They explained how financial rules and accounting practices could be used to allow a company to grow its bottom line.’
      expand, improve, advance, develop, progress, make progress, make headway
      View synonyms
  • 3with complement Become gradually or increasingly.

    ‘sharing our experiences we grew braver’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But amid the roar of the new economy, he grew impatient and gradually dumped his blue chips.’
    • ‘In response he grew gradually more paranoid, seeing enemies all around.’
    • ‘As we grow older, they gradually produce less pigment, leaving each strand white - although it appears grey in contrast to the rest of the hair.’
    • ‘She began muttering things under her breath but gradually grew tired as well.’
    • ‘Did he grow less experienced as opening night drew nearer?’
    • ‘I'm also a bit hesitant to debate about whether or not it should be used to slow the muscle loss experienced as we grow older.’
    • ‘It affects mainly older people, and grows gradually worse.’
    • ‘The researchers plan to follow the progress of students who gain a place at medical school and track their changing views as they grow older and more experienced.’
    • ‘I feel the impatient breath of my daughter's future on my neck as I nurse her before bed, her fist clenching my thumb until she grows sleepy and gradually lets go of me.’
    • ‘Whilst the palette remains as colourful, and the framing as idiosyncratic, as ever, the material he has worked with has grown gradually more mature.’
    • ‘With her ear pressed against the ground so, she detected a rumbling noise, gradually growing louder.’
    • ‘Within the transit chamber a faint purple glow danced along the walls, gradually growing brighter.’
    • ‘The farm stayed in the family for over 140 years, gradually growing smaller as the town crept around it.’
    • ‘It seemed to gradually slow and grow calmer, less agitated.’
    • ‘As time and distance converge, he mixes colours that grow gradually more muted.’
    • ‘It didn't register right away, but gradually it grew louder.’
    • ‘But the ideas gradually disappeared as I grew older; and now my mind drew a blank.’
    1. 3.1with infinitive (of a person) come to feel or know something over time.
      ‘she grew to like the friendly, quiet people at the farm’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It may mean the end of the knock-about stuff we have grown to love and deplore at the same time, but, if yesterday was anything to go by, this will be replaced with a much smarter and subtler weekly clash.’
      • ‘I have grown to appreciate, respect and admire them a lot.’
      • ‘He has grown to recognize that the distinction is a bad one and that the artificially separated elements are mutually supporting and necessary.’
      • ‘I have grown to like some of this so-called pop folk.’
      • ‘I love cooking, but I hate washing dishes, so I've grown to love two yummy recipes that require virtually no cleanup.’
      • ‘Yet the same intuition she felt in childhood became even stronger during her teenage years and Christine discovered the identity she had grown to accept was not who she really was at all.’
      • ‘A lot of Christmas discs play around with the music we've grown to love over the years, but not enough try and make something unique enough to really stand out.’
      • ‘The wife and son (two characters we have already grown to care about) are being forced to realize that a loved one is no longer the man they knew.’
      • ‘Sorry, but I've grown to hate that voice of hers.’
      • ‘And somewhere in there I realised I had grown to enjoy it.’
      • ‘I had grown to cherish the ways of a malleable four-year-old when, all of a sudden, she turned five and I learnt the difference the hard way.’
      • ‘As much as we don't realize it, we've all grown to appreciate each other as much as we irritate one another and we are going to miss this year when we hear a song that takes us back.’
      • ‘Janice, being the tactful veterinarian that I have grown to admire, calmly explained the situation to me in practical terms.’
      • ‘If I had stayed in Iowa, would I have grown to love that place so well?’
      • ‘I know he's just a comedian with a puppet, but I've just grown to love him.’
      • ‘Well, as a former 10,000-metres runner, I have to pick the event I have grown to love more than any other.’
      • ‘After a few listens I've grown to appreciate about half the songs, but it's still quite easily the weakest of all their albums.’
      become, come to be, get to be, get, turn, start to feel
      View synonyms



/ɡrō/ /ɡroʊ/


Although grow is typically intransitive, as in he grew two inches taller over the summer, its use as a transitive verb has long been standard in such phrases as grow crops and grow a beard. Recently, however, grow has extended its transitive sense and has become popular in business, economics, and government contexts: growing the industry, growing your business, growing your investment, and so on


    grow on trees
    • usually with negative Be plentiful or easily obtained.

      • ‘money doesn't grow on trees’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To think that there are rights of the latter kind, I do not have to think either that they grow on trees (or can be dug out of the ground) or that they are purely a product of the social and political consensus in which they are recognized.’
      • ‘‘Heritage doesn't grow on trees,’ Mr Silver said.’
      • ‘As I'm sure each candidate can appreciate, airtime doesn't grow on trees - so, we only have a couple of minutes left.’
      • ‘Time is getting short and gorilla suits don't grow on trees.’
      • ‘After all, we had to work hard to be unhealthiest country in Europe - such kudos doesn't grow on trees - and so we continue to fry and batter, butter and bake.’
      • ‘Different venues, though, do not grow on trees.’
      • ‘I hope to sign another striker before the weekend, but gilt-edged strikers do not grow on trees and are difficult to acquire for a team in our position.’

Phrasal Verbs

    grow apart
    • (of two or more people) become gradually estranged.

      ‘he and his wife had been growing apart for at least a year’
      • ‘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…’
      • ‘The suggestion was most welcomed by the patient, who recognized that he had indeed been growing apart from his wife and family.’
      • ‘The play focuses on how a couple grows apart, and how love doesn't always have a happy ending.’
      • ‘When these factors are combined with the usual suspects of boredom, the dreaded ‘seven-year itch’, growing apart from each other and the other traditional reasons for breaking up, what chance does love have?’
      • ‘My best friend and I are growing apart, very quickly.’
      • ‘Over the past couple of months we have been growing apart and we decided this was best for both of us.’
      • ‘And instead of growing apart we worked through it together.’
      • ‘The pair, who tied the knot in Las Vagas in 2001, have apparently begun a trial separation, blaming work commitments for their growing apart.’
    grow away from
    • grow away from someone or somethingBecome gradually separated from one's family, friends, or background.

      ‘emotionally his family had grown away from him’
      • ‘Ruth admits she had grown away from church for a while’
    grow into
    • 1grow into somethingBecome something as a result of natural development or gradual increase.

      • ‘Rome began as a city and grew into a huge empire’
    • 2grow into somethingBecome large enough to wear a garment comfortably.

      • ‘he would grow into the uniform’
    grow on
    • grow on someoneBecome gradually more appealing to someone.

      ‘a house has to grow on you’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Between them, they come up with a film that grows on you.’
      • ‘Boston grows on me more and more when I go down there, Providence too.’
      • ‘His poetry grows on you, as unobtrusively as he himself does.’
      • ‘Although, I suppose, his face grows on you after a while.’
      • ‘This is the kind of album that grows on you with every listen.’
      • ‘It grows on you, which is what makes it a work of genius.’
      • ‘It looks like TV and has the jokey obviousness of TV, but I tell ya, it grows on you.’
    grow out
    • 1(especially of a hairstyle) disappear because of normal growth.

      ‘Colette's old perm had almost grown out’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I dyed the bright red out of my fringe because the bleach was growing out and I can't afford to get it done again and I can't be bothered doing it myself so now I am a polite shade of chocolate brown.’
      • ‘I also bought a box of hair dye to even out the tones because I'd had my hair highlighted months ago and it's growing out and looked nasty.’
      • ‘Don't go for a colour that's too radically different from your natural state: nothing looks worse than the roots growing out look.’
      • ‘At Leicester, I'd have it blond for six months and then let it grow out to its natural colour for six months.’
      • ‘And I'm sure that bald patch won't take too long to grow out.’
      • ‘A complete cure, when it is achieved, takes a year, the amount of time required for the infected nail to grow out completely.’
      • ‘Unlike laser treatment, the hairs aren't vaporised, but grow out over a week.’
      1. 1.1grow something out, grow out somethingAllow the hair to grow in order to change the style.
        • ‘I've decided to grow my layers out’
    grow out of
    • 1Become too large to wear a garment.

      ‘they gave her some clothes that they had grown out of’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Buying clothes that suit either a boy or a girl is a good choice, because the chances are great the baby will grow out of it long before it is worn out.’
      1. 1.1Become too mature to retain a childish habit.
        ‘most children grow out of tantrums by the time they're three’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘People grow out of so many things in time, habits that fall away as they shed their youth and see that some things have no real future.’
        • ‘It's funny how you expect, as you mature, that you will grow out of some of the attitudes you used to carry.’
        • ‘On the pitch, where he has been shown 24 yellow cards and one red since moving to England, the dissent and petulant retaliation of which he is also accused are weaknesses he claims to be growing out of.’
        • ‘‘He has to have brain scans and he's got chronic lung disease which keeps him on a ventilator but we've been told he'll grow out of that,’ she said.’
        • ‘This is one of the things that teenagers are supposed to grow out of when they become adults - a monomanical self-centeredness.’
        • ‘Honesty is the key to a good romance so just chill out and you'll see that this is just a stage in your life that you will eventually grow out of if you just relax and be yourself.’
        • ‘Unfortunately, lying is not something that we grow out of.’
      2. 1.2(of something abstract) come into existence and develop.
        • ‘the play grew out of a drama school project’
    grow up
    • 1Advance to maturity; develop into an adult.

      ‘I grew up in a small town in Michigan’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the surviving children grow up into adults, we must feel eternally grateful that they are here.’
      • ‘He grew up as a cringing youth, and eventually became a bank robber and had to flee the country.’
      • ‘Milk teeth are replaced by permanent, adult teeth as a child grows up.’
      • ‘Though they seem to grow up faster, their transition into adult life is being delayed.’
      • ‘We hope each generation will grow up to be better and kinder adults than the last.’
      • ‘Of course, he'd grown up with it, and people who grew up with it tended to take it for granted.’
      • ‘A healthy baby is born but as he grows up he begins to show disturbing behaviour and they regret their actions.’
      1. 1.1often in imperative Begin to behave or think sensibly and realistically.
        ‘grow up, sister, and come into the real world’
        • ‘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.’
    • 2(of something abstract) come into existence and develop.

      • ‘a school of painting grew up in Cuzco’


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