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

1855–60; proliferate + -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
proliferation (prəˌlɪfəˈreɪʃən)
1.  rapid growth or reproduction of new parts, cells, etc
2.  rapid growth or increase in numbers
3.  a great number: done up in a proliferation of fancy frills

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1867, "formation or development of cells," from Fr. proliferation, from prolifere "producing offspring," from L. 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
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

proliferation pro·lif·er·a·tion (prə-lĭf'ə-rā'shən)
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.
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Example sentences
At the cessation of menstruation, a fresh mucous membrane is formed by a
  proliferation of the remaining structures.
The monster proliferation can be explained, in part, by exploring the meaning
  of monsters.
The proliferation of cross-purposes and strange bedfellows makes for pernicious
  and complicated arbitrating.
There was a proliferation of skepticism that was, ultimately, healthy.
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