9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
Origin of proliferate
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 proliferating
  • They are vibrant microbial communities, not clinging to life in a narrow niche but proliferating in it, replicating up a storm.
  • The unusual gene doesn't stop infection, but it does keep the virus from proliferating.
  • These altered mice produced far fewer proliferating stem cells than their normal counterparts.
  • The more tumor cells there are-and the more rapidly they're dividing and proliferating-the more antibodies are needed.
  • The danger here is that chemistry errors are proliferating from one database to another as the content is reused.
  • But prices are rising and the consequences are proliferating.
  • Reports of that nature are proliferating more rapidly than weapons.
  • At the local community college, new programs in health care are proliferating.
  • Private police and security services, proliferating private recreational clubs, and private transportation companies.
  • The pursuit of diversity, if overzealous, leads to proliferating factions and subgroups.
British Dictionary definitions for proliferating


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 proliferating



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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proliferating 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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