grow (v.)

Old English growan (of plants) "to flourish, increase, develop, get bigger" (class VII strong verb; past tense greow, past participle growen), from Proto-Germanic *gro- (source also of Old Norse groa "to grow" (of vegetation), Old Frisian groia, Dutch groeien, Old High German gruoen), from PIE root *ghre- "to grow, become green" (see grass). Applied in Middle English to human beings (c. 1300) and animals (early 15c.) and their parts, supplanting Old English weaxan (see wax (v.)) in the general sense of "to increase." Transitive sense "cause to grow" is from 1774. To grow on "gain in the estimation of" is from 1712.

Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy? ... Do you know who made you?" "Nobody, as I knows on," said the child. ... "I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me." [Harriet B. Stowe, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 1851]

updated on September 25, 2018

Definitions of grow from WordNet

grow (v.)
pass into a condition gradually, take on a specific property or attribute; become;
She grew angry
Synonyms: turn
grow (v.)
become larger, greater, or bigger; expand or gain;
The problem grew too large for me
Her business grew fast
grow (v.)
increase in size by natural process;
Corn doesn't grow here
In these forests, mushrooms grow under the trees
her hair doesn't grow much anymore
grow (v.)
cause to grow or develop;
He grows vegetables in his backyard
grow (v.)
develop and reach maturity; undergo maturation;
The child grew fast
Synonyms: mature / maturate
grow (v.)
come into existence; take on form or shape;
the idea for the book grew out of a short story
Synonyms: originate / arise / rise / develop / uprise / spring up
grow (v.)
cultivate by growing, often involving improvements by means of agricultural techniques;
We grow wheat here
Synonyms: raise / farm / produce
grow (v.)
come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes);
He grew a beard
Synonyms: develop / produce / get / acquire
grow (v.)
grow emotionally or mature;
When he spent a summer at camp, the boy grew noticeably and no longer showed some of his old adolescent behavior
Synonyms: develop
grow (v.)
become attached by or as if by the process of growth;
The tree trunks had grown together
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