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