Language: Old English
Origin: growan


grow S1 W1 past tense grew past participle grown


a) [intransitive] to increase in amount, size, number, or strength [≠ shrink]:
Support for Mr Thompson is growing.
grow by
Sales of new cars grew by 10% last year.
grow from/to
The number of students at the college has grown from 200 to over 500.
A growing number of people are taking part-time jobs.
grow rapidly/slowly/steadily
The economy has grown steadily.
Fears are growing for the crew's safety.
grow in
a city that is still growing in size
Skiing has really grown in popularity.
There is growing concern about climate change.
my growing interest in China
b) [transitive] to make a business or part of a business bigger and more successful:
We want to grow the export side of the business.


[intransitive] to become bigger, taller etc over a period of time in the process of becoming an adult [≠ shrink]:
You've really grown since I last saw you.
Victor seemed to grow taller every day.
grow 2 inches/5cm etc
Stan grew two inches in six months.


a) [intransitive] if plants grow, they exist and develop in a natural way:
a tree which will grow well in most types of soil
The plants grow wild (=grow without anyone looking after them) by the river.
b) [transitive] to make plants or crops develop and produce fruit or flowers [↪ raise]:
Many families own plots of land to grow food.
Britain grows 6,000,000 tonnes of potatoes a year.
The growing season is from April to September.


a) [transitive] if you grow your hair or nails, you do not cut them:
I've decided to grow my hair long.
b) [intransitive] when hair or nails grow, they become longer


a) [I always + adj] to change and become different quite slowly:
The sound was growing louder.
Her tastes have changed as she's grown older.
Donna has grown tired of being a model.
Gradually, Fiona's eyes grew used to the darkness (=she gradually became able to see a little better).
b) [intransitive] to gradually change your opinions and have a feeling that you did not have before
grow to like/hate/respect etc
After a while the kids grew to like Mr Cox.
the city he had grown to love
see usage note become


[intransitive] to gradually become better, bigger etc
grow as
She's grown tremendously as a musician.

it/money doesn't grow on trees

spoken used to say that you should not waste money

grow apart

phrasal verb
if two people grow apart, their relationship becomes less close:
The couple had been growing apart for years.

grow into somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to develop over time and become a particular kind of person or thing:
Sue grew into a lovely young woman.
The two-part show has grown into a full-fledged series.
2 to gradually learn how to do a job or deal with a situation successfully:
She will grow into her new role over the next few months.
3 if a child grows into clothes, he or she becomes big enough to wear them

grow on somebody

phrasal verb
if something grows on you, you gradually like it more and more:
I hated his music at first, but it grows on you.

grow out

phrasal verb
if you grow out a hair style, or if it grows out, you gradually grow your hair until the style disappears
grow something ↔ out
I'm growing my fringe out.

grow out of something

phrasal verb
1 if a child grows out of clothes, he or she becomes too big to wear them [= outgrow]
2 if someone grows out of something, they stop doing it as they get older [= outgrow]:
Mike finally seems to be growing out of his rebelliousness.
3 to develop or happen as a result of something else that happened or existed:
His art grew out of his love of nature.
legislation which grew out of concern over the increasing crime rate

grow up

phrasal verb
1 to develop from being a child to being an adult:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I grew up in Chicago.

grow up!

spoken used to tell someone to behave in a more responsible way, like an adult
3 to start to exist or develop gradually:
Trading settlements grew up by the river.

become, get, go, turn, grow, come
become can be followed by an adjective or noun, not a verb Her husband became jealous. We soon became friends.The following words are used with an adjective instead of become, in certain cases:get is very often used instead of become, and is more usual in spoken English I was getting hungry. Things got worse and worse.go is usedto say that something changes colour The sky went say that someone feels a change in their body My fingers have gone numb. with blind and deaf He went blind. with mad, insane, crazy etc The crowd went wild.turn is used especially to say that something changes colour The liquid turned green. His face turned pale.grow can be used in fairly literary written English to say that something changes gradually It grew dark as we walked.with a to-infinitive, to say that someone gradually starts doing something We grew to love each other.come is usedwith adjectives like apart, undone, and unstuck Your shoelace has come undone. A few pages came loose. with true Her prediction came true. with a to-infinitive to say that someone starts doing something I eventually came to realize (NOT became to realize) I was wrong.See also become

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