advanced in growth: a grown boy.
arrived at full growth or maturity; adult: a grown man.


past participle of grow.

Related formshalf-grown, adjectiveun·grown, adjective
Can be confusedgroan grown (see synonym study at groan)



verb (used without object), grew, grown, grow·ing.

to increase by natural development, as any living organism or part by assimilation of nutriment; increase in size or substance.
to form and increase in size by a process of inorganic accretion, as by crystallization.
to arise or issue as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance, or source: Our friendship grew from common interests.
to increase gradually in size, amount, etc.; become greater or larger; expand: His influence has grown.
to become gradually attached or united by or as if by growth: The branches of the trees grew together, forming a natural arch.
to come to be by degrees; become: to grow old.
Nautical. to lie or extend in a certain direction, as an anchor cable.

verb (used with object), grew, grown, grow·ing.

to cause to grow: They grow corn.
to allow to grow: to grow a beard.
to cover with a growth (used in the passive): a field grown with corn.

Verb Phrases

grow into,
  1. to become large enough for: He'll grow into his brother's suits before long.
  2. to become mature or experienced enough for: She grew into the job, although she wasn't qualified for it at first.
grow on/upon,
  1. to increase in influence or effect: An uneasy feeling grew upon him as he went through the old house.
  2. to become gradually more liked or accepted by: a village by the sea that grows on one.
grow out of,
  1. to become too large or mature for; outgrow: He has grown out of all his clothes.
  2. to originate in; develop from: The plan grew out of a casual conversation.
grow up,
  1. to be or become fully grown; attain mental or physical maturity.
  2. to come into existence; arise: New cities grew up in the desert.

Origin of grow

before 900; Middle English growen, Old English grōwan; cognate with Dutch groeien, Old High German grouwan, Old Norse grōa
Related formsgrow·a·ble, adjectivere·grow, verb, re·grew, re·grown, re·grow·ing.

Synonyms for grow

Antonyms for grow

1. decrease. 4. wane. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grown

Contemporary Examples of grown

Historical Examples of grown

  • A light not of this world is gleaming there; and it has grown brighter and clearer since we parted.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Why the world should have grown cold at that particular moment, we do not know.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • It had grown much too cold to do without some sort of artificial covering.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • The sound in her ear had grown to a roar, as of many mill-wheels.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • It was through her renunciation that he had grown so strong, so pure, so good.

British Dictionary definitions for grown



  1. developed or advancedfully grown
  2. (in combination)half-grown


verb grows, growing, grew (ɡruː) or grown (ɡrəʊn)

(of an organism or part of an organism) to increase in size or develop (hair, leaves, or other structures)
(intr; usually foll by out of or from) to originate, as from an initial cause or sourcethe federation grew out of the Empire
(intr) to increase in size, number, degree, etcthe population is growing rapidly
(intr) to change in length or amount in a specified directionsome plants grow downwards; profits over the years grew downwards
(copula; may take an infinitive) (esp of emotions, physical states, etc) to develop or come into existence or being graduallyto grow cold; to grow morose; he grew to like her
(intr usually foll by up) to come into existencea close friendship grew up between them
(intr foll by together) to be joined gradually by or as by growththe branches on the tree grew together
(intr; foll by away, together, etc) to develop a specified state of friendshipthe lovers grew together gradually; many friends grow apart over the years
(when intr, foll by with) to become covered with a growththe path grew with weeds
to produce (plants) by controlling or encouraging their growth, esp for home consumption or on a commercial basis

Word Origin for grow

Old English grōwan; related to Old Norse grōa, Old Frisian grōia, Old High German gruoen; see green, grass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for grown

late 14c., past participle adjective from grow (v.).



Old English growan (of plants) "to grow, flourish, increase, develop, get bigger" (class VII strong verb; past tense greow, past participle growen), from Proto-Germanic *gro- (cf. Old Norse groa, Old Frisian groia, Dutch groeien, Old High German gruoen), from PIE root *ghre- (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.)).

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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for grown




To increase in size by a natural process.
To develop and reach maturity.
To be capable of growth; thrive.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with grown


In addition to the idioms beginning with grow

  • growing pains
  • grow into
  • grow on
  • grow out of
  • grow up

also see:

  • absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • let the grass grow under one's feet
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.