- To proliferate is to multiply or to increase quickly in numbers.
An example of proliferate is when one product gives rise to many copycat products, which are ever-increasing in number.
transitive verbproliferated, proliferating
- to reproduce (new parts) in quick succession
- to produce or create in profusion
Origin of proliferateback-formation ; from proliferation ; from French prolifération ; from prolifère, proliferous + -ation
- to grow by multiplying new parts, as by budding, in quick succession
- to multiply rapidly; increase profusely
verbpro·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.
- To increase or spread at a rapid rate: fears that nuclear weapons might proliferate.
Origin of proliferateBack-formation from proliferation, the act of proliferating, from French prolifération, from prolifère, procreative : Latin prōlēs, prōl-, offspring; see proliferous + Latin -fer, -fer.
(third-person singular simple present proliferates, present participle proliferating, simple past and past participle proliferated)
- To increase in number or spread rapidly.
- The flowers proliferated rapidly all spring.