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[pruh-lif-uh-reyt] /prəˈlɪf əˌreɪt/
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), proliferated, proliferating.
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.
1870-75; prolifer(ous) + -ate1
Related forms
proliferative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for proliferated
  • Comment spam proliferated throughout the blog sites with amazing speed.
  • Microscopic, free-floating plankton proliferated and may have turned parts of the ocean red.
  • Hydroelectric power plants proliferated with the ability to transmit electricity over longer distances.
  • In a land where teahouses have proliferated for thousands of years, coffee is now the trendy choice.
  • The practice has proliferated to become the equivalent of having a personal trainer, he says.
  • As iPods and other personal music devices has proliferated, so have deaths and injuries in crashes.
  • The parodies have proliferated precisely because the footage they're based on is already unintentionally ridiculous.
  • As the population of menhaden declines, algal blooms have proliferated, transforming some inshore waters into dead zones.
  • As earmarks have proliferated, the government's infrastructure investment has lost focus.
  • But as channels have proliferated, it has become much easier to avoid exposure to politics altogether.
British Dictionary definitions for proliferated


to grow or reproduce (new parts, cells, etc) rapidly
to grow or increase or cause to grow or increase rapidly
Derived Forms
proliferative, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for proliferated



1857 as a term in biology; see proliferation. General sense from 1961. Related: Proliferated; proliferating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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proliferated in Medicine

proliferate pro·lif·er·ate (prə-lĭf'ə-rāt')
v. pro·lif·er·at·ed, pro·lif·er·at·ing, pro·lif·er·ates
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.
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