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produce (v.)

early 15c., producen, "develop, proceed, extend, lengthen out," from Latin producere "lead or bring forth, draw out," figuratively "to promote, empower; stretch out, extend," from pro "before, forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, forth") + ducere "to bring, lead" (from PIE root *deuk- "to lead").

The sense of "bring into being or existence" is from late 15c. That of "put (a play) on stage" is from 1580s. Of animals or plants, "generate, bear, bring forth, give birth to," 1520s. The meaning "cause, effect, or bring about by mental or physical labor" is from 1630s. In political economy, "create value; bring goods, manufactures, etc. into a state in which they will command a price," by 1827. Related: Produced; producing.

produce (n.)

"thing or things produced," 1690s, from produce (v.), and originally accented like it. Specific sense of "agricultural productions" (as distinguished from manufactured goods) is from 1745.

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Definitions of produce from WordNet
1
produce (v.)
bring forth or yield;
The tree would not produce fruit
Synonyms: bring forth
produce (v.)
create or manufacture a man-made product;
We produce more cars than we can sell
Synonyms: make / create
produce (v.)
cause to happen, occur or exist;
These chemicals produce a noxious vapor
This procedure produces a curious effect
Synonyms: bring about / give rise
produce (v.)
bring out for display;
The proud father produced many pictures of his baby
Synonyms: bring forth
produce (v.)
cultivate by growing, often involving improvements by means of agricultural techniques;
They produce good ham in Parma
The Bordeaux region produces great red wines
Synonyms: grow / raise / farm
produce (v.)
bring onto the market or release;
produce a new play
produce a movie
Synonyms: bring on / bring out
produce (v.)
come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes);
Synonyms: grow / develop / get / acquire
2
produce (n.)
fresh fruits and vegetable grown for the market;
Synonyms: green goods / green groceries / garden truck
From wordnet.princeton.edu