[pruh-lif-uh-rey-shuh n]


the growth or production of cells by multiplication of parts.
a rapid and often excessive spread or increase: nuclear proliferation.

Origin of proliferation

First recorded in 1855–60; proliferate + -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for proliferation

generation, propagation, procreation, reproduction, spread, expansion

Examples from the Web for proliferation

Contemporary Examples of proliferation

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British Dictionary definitions for proliferation



rapid growth or reproduction of new parts, cells, etc
rapid growth or increase in numbers
a great numberdone up in a proliferation of fancy frills
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 proliferation

1859, "formation or development of cells," from French prolifération, from prolifère "producing offspring," from Latin proles "offspring" (see prolific) + ferre "to bear" (see infer). Meaning "enlargement, extension, increase" is from 1920; especially of nuclear weapons (1966).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

proliferation in Medicine




The growth and reproduction of similar cells.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.