- to grow or produce by multiplication of parts, as in budding or cell division, or by procreation.
- to increase in number or spread rapidly and often excessively.
Origin of proliferate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to grow or reproduce (new parts, cells, etc) rapidly
- to grow or increase or cause to grow or increase rapidly
Word Origin for proliferate
C19: from Medieval Latin prōlifer having offspring, from Latin prōlēs offspring + ferre to bear
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 proliferative
1857 as a term in biology; see proliferation. General sense from 1961. Related: Proliferated; proliferating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Tending to proliferate.
- To grow or multiply by rapidly producing new tissue, parts, cells, or offspring.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.