[ pruh-lif-uh-reyt ]
See synonyms for: proliferateproliferatesproliferating on

verb (used with or without object),pro·lif·er·at·ed, pro·lif·er·at·ing.
  1. to grow or produce by multiplication of parts, as in budding or cell division, or by procreation.

  2. to increase in number or spread rapidly and often excessively.

Origin of proliferate

First recorded in 1870–75; prolifer(ous) + -ate1

Other words from proliferate

  • pro·lif·er·a·tive, adjective

Words Nearby proliferate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use proliferate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for proliferate


/ (prəˈlɪfəˌreɪt) /

  1. to grow or reproduce (new parts, cells, etc) rapidly

  2. to grow or increase or cause to grow or increase rapidly

Origin of proliferate

C19: from Medieval Latin prōlifer having offspring, from Latin prōlēs offspring + ferre to bear

Derived forms of proliferate

  • proliferative, adjective

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