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

proliferative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
proliferate (prəˈlɪfəˌreɪt)
1.  to grow or reproduce (new parts, cells, etc) rapidly
2.  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]

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

1873, as a term in biology, from proliferation. General sense from 1961.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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.

proliferative pro·lif·er·a·tive (prə-lĭf'ə-rā'tĭv, -lĭf'ər-ə-) or pro·lif·er·ous (-ər-əs)
Tending to proliferate.

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
The high blood sugar attributed to the proliferative retinopathy in my right eye.
These woolly areas may signal the development of proliferative retinopathy.
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