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[pruh-lif-uh-rey-shuh n] /prəˌlɪf əˈreɪ ʃən/
the growth or production of cells by multiplication of parts.
a rapid and often excessive spread or increase:
nuclear proliferation.
Origin of proliferation
1855-60; proliferate + -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for proliferation
  • 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.
  • Sanctions designed to prevent the proliferation of weapons impede their use.
  • Now a study has pinned the proliferation on a particular culprit: robins.
  • It is this excess plutonium that creates proliferation concerns.
  • With the proliferation of peer-reviewed journals, it may be that erroneous or poorly conducted research sometimes gets published.
  • The story of arming rebels is the story of one of the unrecognized tragedies of our time: small arms proliferation.
  • The proliferation of new poetry and poetry programs is astounding by any historical measure.
British Dictionary definitions for proliferation


rapid growth or reproduction of new parts, cells, etc
rapid growth or increase in numbers
a great number: done up in a proliferation of fancy frills
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 proliferation

1859, "formation or development of cells," from French prolifération, from prolifère "producing offspring," from Latin 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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proliferation in Medicine

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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