Definition of grow in English:

grow

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1(of a living thing) undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically.

    ‘he would watch Nick grow to manhood’
    ‘the needs of the growing child’
    ‘grown men don't act so stupidly’
    • ‘It is during this phase that prolamellar bodies grow in size and get their regular shape.’
    • ‘Unlike a moving fibroblast, however, the extending axon also grows in size, with an accompanying increase in the total surface area of the neuron's plasma membrane.’
    • ‘The ghost shrimp grows to the size of a small hand, and is mostly white, with a streak of red that runs down its body.’
    • ‘The creature grows to a tremendous size, begins sucking down the exhaust from some towering smokestacks, and generally wreaks havoc.’
    • ‘But his tumor recently grew again and he underwent radiation therapy.’
    • ‘I'm embarrassed in front of all these people that two grown men allowed a situation like this to escalate the way it did.’
    • ‘In 6 to 12 months, natural bone grows to replace the synthetic ceramic.’
    • ‘The polypides of living stenolaemates grow inwardly from skeletal apertures.’
    • ‘Max's whole body had grown in size in around a minute; instead of being his usual 6'4, he was now around 7 to 8 feet tall.’
    • ‘He grew to nearly twice his original size, his teeth grew long and sharp, talons erupted from his finger tips, and his nose stretched into a snout.’
    • ‘It is because of this energy that all natural things can grow and flourish.’
    • ‘It seemed that the dot grew slightly in size as the intensity setting was increased.’
    get bigger, get taller, get larger, increase in size, increase in weight, fill out, fatten
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a plant) germinate and develop.
      ‘morels grow in a variety of places’
      • ‘Plant species growing in the semi-arid regions of the world need to be adapted to an environment in which drought strongly affects plant growth.’
      • ‘Grass grows well enough there, but it's usually found in raggedly in orchards, or on fields for animals to eat.’
      • ‘Grass is growing from gutters and belfry, and windows need to be replaced.’
      • ‘Until a seed imbibes water and begins to grow, weeders and cultivators have little effect.’
      • ‘Crops no longer grew, and the fish in the sea turned belly-up dead.’
      • ‘You'll have cross-pollination to other canola crops that might be growing alongside roadsides and so on.’
      • ‘Droughts cause crops to fail, while crops that do grow often are not gathered because of civil wars fought in the name of the starving.’
      • ‘It is very useful indeed and, unlike cotton, doesn't need chemical fertilisers to grow and yield a crop.’
      • ‘The newly surfaced weed seeds that had been laying dormant deep in the soil will often not begin to grow until after the crop gets started.’
      • ‘I'm trying to make the grass grow, and green plants produce oxygen, and that's supposed to help the environment.’
      • ‘Grass grew, foliage returned to trees' canopies, and blooming flowers proliferated.’
      • ‘While I've been under the weather things have been growing in the fields and hedges, turning my little world back to a green and pleasant place.’
      • ‘Grass still grew in it; it just looked as though someone had taken a fifteen by fifteen scoop out of the ground and surrounded it by berry bushes.’
      • ‘Grass will never grow well under the viaducts, and attempting to make it do so contributes nothing to the beautification of the city.’
      • ‘Nitrate is the main source of nitrogen for most plant species growing in aerobic soils.’
      • ‘The land in all its splendour was rich and the dark red soil held all the rain and mist which seeped into the ground feeding the crops that grew in abundance.’
      • ‘It grows in pastures, cultivated fields, and waste places.’
      • ‘Grass was growing well in places where the work had been completed.’
      • ‘They spent a lot of the time talking about their farms, telling us how business was bad, and how long it took for various crops to grow, and other information like that.’
      • ‘Keeping the Valentine's Day rose crop warm while it grows requires a lot of heat.’
      sprout, shoot up, spring up, develop, bud, burst forth, germinate, bloom
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    2. 1.2with object Cause (plants) to germinate and develop.
      ‘more land was needed to grow crops for export’
      • ‘He is a Madison, South Dakota, farmer who grows certified organic crops.’
      • ‘By pollarding it we hope to prolong the life of the tree, giving us time to plant and grow replacement trees nearby.’
      • ‘Many small farmers, both Indian and Ladino, have replaced traditional subsistence crops with those grown for export.’
      • ‘Some grass is grown on the farm for hay or silage, together with swede, turnip or kale for winter forage because grass growth declines drastically in the winter.’
      • ‘Farmers may diversify by changing the crops they grow, the kinds of products they trade, or the places they live.’
      • ‘He also raises 300 fed cattle, 300 nanny goats and grows 350 acres of crops.’
      • ‘At the same time, farmers should display a greater sense of discipline by listening to government suggestions while deciding what crops to grow.’
      • ‘The following should allow you to grow an attractive well shaped and sized bush with large lovely blooms.’
      • ‘Bring back a pear from your friend's village and plant it to grow pear trees in your own town.’
      • ‘In that case, a farmer planted and grew wheat on his farm solely for his family's consumption.’
      • ‘Various indigenous grasses were grown on each soil type to test their filtering effects.’
      • ‘These trees are easily grown from seed which germinates very quickly.’
      • ‘Commercially, the betel leaf crop is a labour intensive crop, grown in areas with abundant water.’
      • ‘Over the course of the year they grow over 50 different crops.’
      • ‘You'll get the best fruit production if the tree is grown outdoors in summer and brought indoors before the first frost in fall.’
      • ‘We visited Beulah Farm, which grows herbs and fruits, and sells its own fruit jam.’
      • ‘However, they are impossible to grow through artificial cultivation.’
      • ‘If growing a mango tree from seed, it should be planted with the rounded end facing upwards and be placed just below the surface of the soil.’
      • ‘They don't seem to grow grass here for the sheep, but let them eat the weeds that do show up when the rains have come through.’
      • ‘For home gardeners, the best news is broccoli is one of the easiest crops to grow.’
      • ‘She said children in the center also grow trees and plants for fruit and vegetables for their own daily consumption.’
      • ‘If we choose fresh, organic, locally grown crops we are supporting gardeners and farmers who choose to maintain our right to good food.’
      • ‘A little over 100 crop species are now grown intensively around the world, with only a handful of them supplying us with most of what we now eat.’
      • ‘He will advise farmers which crops to grow for heating and power generation, how to access grants and the potential pitfalls of growing alternative crops.’
      • ‘Christmas trees are grown commercially on plantations and are like any other crop except they take several years to reach maturity rather than just one.’
      • ‘Its warmth allows us to grow food, build shelters, and clothe ourselves.’
      • ‘Earlier, farmers used to grow only one sorghum crop.’
      • ‘When last year Paul wanted to grow wheat, he planted four acres just to see if it would work.’
      • ‘Cultivated grapes cannot be grown profitably without the use of fungicides to control grape powdery mildew.’
      • ‘She explains that she raises beef cattle and grows grain, potatoes, hay, and also tends a small vegetable garden.’
      • ‘The farm has started to grow herbs in consultation with the Chelsea Physic Garden - echinacea and St John's Wort so far.’
      • ‘An elderly arthritis sufferer was recently jailed for growing cannabis plants.’
      • ‘The range of flavors is determined by where this plant species is grown and how it's processed.’
      • ‘As anyone who grows fruit trees knows, you compete with several insects for each piece of fruit.’
      • ‘These crops are harder to grow, requiring more money, water and skill.’
      • ‘They grew and sold their crops for a small profit, one that anyone could afford.’
      • ‘In a dry situation, durum is usually the best crop to grow because it is the most drought tolerant.’
      • ‘Mix plenty of compost into the soil, or grow the trees in raised beds.’
      • ‘Are you a certified organic producer and wondering whether and where you can obtain organic seed of the crops you plan to grow?’
      • ‘Producers must understand the crops they grow and the amount of water used.’
      cultivate, produce, propagate, raise, rear, bring on, nurture, tend
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3with object Allow or cause (a part of the body) to grow or develop.
      ‘if a newt's leg is amputated, it will grow a new one’
      with object and complement ‘she grew her hair long’
      • ‘In Masai culture, only warriors are allowed to grow their hair out.’
      • ‘My hair I had once again allowed to grow long and my body was also becoming that of a woman.’
      • ‘It happens when, for unknown reasons, the body's immune system attacks the cells that grow hair.’
      • ‘Pilots are typically not allowed to grow a beard because it prevents the oxygen mask from fitting properly.’
      • ‘A recent decision in Victoria has allowed the police to grow their hair, so long as they keep it in bun while on duty.’
      • ‘They are actual alien life forms exploiting the gestational nature of my body to try and grow bodies of their own.’
      • ‘Employers can, for example, require that men wear short hair, while allowing women to grow theirs long.’
      • ‘So when she couldn't get up the tree, she unwittingly wished for more help, and her body responded by growing a tail.’
      • ‘The myth tells that it is slowly growing its body back and when the body is complete, the Incas will return to rule their land.’
      • ‘Once in the body, they could meld and warp the body to grow wings.’
      • ‘In fact, those guys were allowed to grow facial hair as well.’
      • ‘In that split second of my unleashing the wrath of God on this poor soul, she became covered with copious body hair, grew fangs and proceeded to turn into Mrs. Jekyll.’
      • ‘The doctor then asked her where on her body she was growing hair.’
      • ‘At least they'd have probably been allowed to grow their hair long again.’
      • ‘They discovered he had grown a beard and allowed his hair to grow long.’
      • ‘Imagine growing a replacement body, having your head transplanted to it, and then eating the old body.’
    4. 1.4 (of something abstract) come into existence and develop.
      ‘the play grew out of a drama school project’
      ‘a school of painting grew up in Cuzco’
      • ‘At some point, a complex wooden network began to grow up the walls of the entrance area.’
      • ‘Cities in Afghanistan didn't grow because of the rivers; they grew up because they were on the ring road or connected to it.’
      • ‘Second, it seeks to reverse the insidious culture of division that has grown up around the existence of these principles.’
      originate, stem, spring, arise, have its origin, emerge, issue, spread, extend
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  • 2Become larger or greater over a period of time; increase.

    ‘turnover grew to more than $100,000 within three years’
    ‘the growing concern over ozone levels’
    • ‘The Boston division has been the fastest growing in the United States over the last ten years with 140,000 passenger trips made a day.’
    • ‘The Indian economy is among the fastest growing in the world today.’
    • ‘But there are fears that indicators such as these, which are growing in popularity, are self-fulfilling.’
    • ‘The price of property in the town has been the fastest growing in Yorkshire over the past year with prices having risen by 52 per cent.’
    • ‘She said that for a small company, at the time, to be recognised as the fastest growing in Ireland was an amazing success.’
    • ‘To this end, he focused on a genre that was rapidly growing in popularity amongst the patrons of such libraries, that of escapist romance.’
    • ‘The book festival has been growing in weight and clout.’
    • ‘You might not yet have heard of a house concert, but it is a form of musical entertainment that is quickly growing in popularity.’
    • ‘The show has been growing in stature over the years and is today easily the most awaited talent search event among young rock bands.’
    • ‘The county is the fastest growing in Ireland but, in recent years, it has only been possible to guess at the population level.’
    • ‘And the move has been a success for both parties, with Rhodes growing in stature as the Knights push towards the play-offs.’
    • ‘Yet in an increasingly sedentary society, riding is a healthy pastime which is growing in popularity, particularly among the young.’
    • ‘Far from disappearing, they seem to be growing in number.’
    • ‘Money and its availability is usually the primary concern for all budget holders while the latter is growing in importance and complexity.’
    • ‘The total road length is around 5,000 km, which is not growing in proportion with vehicle growth.’
    • ‘The last has seen the highest increase in price in the last year, growing in value by 15.4%.’
    • ‘It's a procedure that's growing in popularity in America, and especially here in Hollywood.’
    • ‘It also presages a debate that is growing in not only environmentalist circles, but in religious ones as well.’
    • ‘There's an air of aggressiveness about this annual ceremony, growing in intensity year by year, that I find disturbing.’
    • ‘The unemployment rate, which is growing in almost all East European countries, is decreasing in Bulgaria.’
    get bigger, get taller, get larger, increase in size, increase in weight, fill out, fatten
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1with object Develop or expand (something, especially a business)
      ‘entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their businesses’
      • ‘How are you supposed to have the time or energy to keep your body in shape while growing a company?’
      • ‘Analysts are of the opinion that the separation would allow the company to grow its nascent mobile and internet operations more aggressively.’
      • ‘But it is the money from business that has grown the industry and accelerated the technology, not hobbying.’
      • ‘They explained how financial rules and accounting practices could be used to allow a company to grow its bottom line.’
      • ‘The company, which opened the offer this week, will use the money raised to grow its Australasian business and expand further overseas.’
      • ‘We also grew the student body by one-third, from 180 students to 240.’
      • ‘This group is primarily for young professionals and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business and their success network.’
      • ‘We cannot grow the business because if you want to grow the business you have to get more money.’
      • ‘It will be a challenge to grow the business in the increasingly complex medical device imaging marketplace.’
      • ‘Is this a good time for retailers to look at growing their business by getting into the seed treatment business?’
      • ‘We are expanding but will grow a business to suit ourselves.’
      • ‘Next year, a 6 per cent rise in sales should allow IBM to grow earnings per share by 14 per cent.’
      • ‘Company leaders must overcome this obstacle if they are to continue growing their business.’
      • ‘How do we not only grow our business but also expand our vision of who our customers are?’
      • ‘The third is promoting the use of concrete and growing your business.’
      • ‘Without a lot of money with which to advertise, how can I grow my business?’
      • ‘The report stated that while last year was a difficult year, most companies managed to grow their businesses and were quite upbeat about the future.’
      • ‘While that information was interesting, it will not help me in starting and growing a business here.’
      • ‘In fact, good statesmanship allowed me to grow my coffers to rival the papacy - all without attacking across borders.’
      • ‘Are some places really better than others for starting and growing a business?’
      expand, improve, advance, develop, progress, make progress, make headway
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  • 3with complement Become gradually or increasingly.

    ‘sharing our experiences we grew braver’
    • ‘Initially he supported its Congregationalist ideology, but gradually grew dissatisfied.’
    • ‘She began muttering things under her breath but gradually grew tired as well.’
    • ‘It seemed to gradually slow and grow calmer, less agitated.’
    • ‘I'm also a bit hesitant to debate about whether or not it should be used to slow the muscle loss experienced as we grow older.’
    • ‘I feel the impatient breath of my daughter's future on my neck as I nurse her before bed, her fist clenching my thumb until she grows sleepy and gradually lets go of me.’
    • ‘Did he grow less experienced as opening night drew nearer?’
    • ‘With her ear pressed against the ground so, she detected a rumbling noise, gradually growing louder.’
    • ‘But amid the roar of the new economy, he grew impatient and gradually dumped his blue chips.’
    • ‘In response he grew gradually more paranoid, seeing enemies all around.’
    • ‘The researchers plan to follow the progress of students who gain a place at medical school and track their changing views as they grow older and more experienced.’
    • ‘It penetrated through the houses, shaking the earth and pounding the eardrums of a garbled populace which had gradually grown accustomed to the noise.’
    • ‘Whilst the palette remains as colourful, and the framing as idiosyncratic, as ever, the material he has worked with has grown gradually more mature.’
    • ‘A distant drumming could be heard gradually growing louder and louder.’
    • ‘It affects mainly older people, and grows gradually worse.’
    • ‘As time and distance converge, he mixes colours that grow gradually more muted.’
    • ‘It didn't register right away, but gradually it grew louder.’
    • ‘As we grow older, they gradually produce less pigment, leaving each strand white - although it appears grey in contrast to the rest of the hair.’
    • ‘But the ideas gradually disappeared as I grew older; and now my mind drew a blank.’
    • ‘Within the transit chamber a faint purple glow danced along the walls, gradually growing brighter.’
    • ‘The farm stayed in the family for over 140 years, gradually growing smaller as the town crept around it.’
    1. 3.1with infinitive (of a person) come to feel or think something over time.
      ‘supposing we had grown to know and love nuclear power’
      • ‘He has quickly grown to love the work, the people it has brought him in contact with, and the region he had been waiting to return to.’
      • ‘If I had stayed in Iowa, would I have grown to love that place so well?’
      • ‘I had grown to cherish the ways of a malleable four-year-old when, all of a sudden, she turned five and I learnt the difference the hard way.’
      • ‘Obviously factory work was worse because it was so bloody noisy as well, but I really grew to hate those assignments too, as people made the same mistakes over and over and over.’
      • ‘I know he's just a comedian with a puppet, but I've just grown to love him.’
      • ‘Sorry, but I've grown to hate that voice of hers.’
      • ‘He has grown to recognize that the distinction is a bad one and that the artificially separated elements are mutually supporting and necessary.’
      • ‘As much as we don't realize it, we've all grown to appreciate each other as much as we irritate one another and we are going to miss this year when we hear a song that takes us back.’
      • ‘After a few listens I've grown to appreciate about half the songs, but it's still quite easily the weakest of all their albums.’
      • ‘Well, as a former 10,000-metres runner, I have to pick the event I have grown to love more than any other.’
      • ‘It may mean the end of the knock-about stuff we have grown to love and deplore at the same time, but, if yesterday was anything to go by, this will be replaced with a much smarter and subtler weekly clash.’
      • ‘I have grown to appreciate, respect and admire them a lot.’
      • ‘I love cooking, but I hate washing dishes, so I've grown to love two yummy recipes that require virtually no cleanup.’
      • ‘A lot of Christmas discs play around with the music we've grown to love over the years, but not enough try and make something unique enough to really stand out.’
      • ‘If so, it is because you have changed or because you have grown to see the person more clearly?’
      • ‘Yet the same intuition she felt in childhood became even stronger during her teenage years and Christine discovered the identity she had grown to accept was not who she really was at all.’
      • ‘I have grown to like some of this so-called pop folk.’
      • ‘Janice, being the tactful veterinarian that I have grown to admire, calmly explained the situation to me in practical terms.’
      • ‘The wife and son (two characters we have already grown to care about) are being forced to realize that a loved one is no longer the man they knew.’
      • ‘And somewhere in there I realised I had grown to enjoy it.’
      become, come to be, get to be, get, turn, start to feel
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Usage

Although grow is typically used intransitively, as in he would watch Nick grow to manhood, its use as a transitive verb has long been standard in contexts which refer to growing plants and one's hair (more land was needed to grow crops; she grew her hair long). Recently, however, grow has extended its transitive sense and become popular in business jargon: entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their businesses

Phrases

  • grow on trees

    • informal usually with negativeBe plentiful or easily obtained.

      ‘jobs don't grow on trees’
      • ‘As I'm sure each candidate can appreciate, airtime doesn't grow on trees - so, we only have a couple of minutes left.’
      • ‘Money doesn't grow on trees, and neither does happiness or anything else worth having.’
      • ‘After all, we had to work hard to be unhealthiest country in Europe - such kudos doesn't grow on trees - and so we continue to fry and batter, butter and bake.’
      • ‘For four nights, every middle-class family in town forsook watching TV sitcoms to see the fireworks, and suddenly, we lived in a city where public transportation seemed to grow on trees.’
      • ‘I hope to sign another striker before the weekend, but gilt-edged strikers do not grow on trees and are difficult to acquire for a team in our position.’
      • ‘That party thinks that money just grows on trees and is there for the picking.’
      • ‘To think that there are rights of the latter kind, I do not have to think either that they grow on trees (or can be dug out of the ground) or that they are purely a product of the social and political consensus in which they are recognized.’
      • ‘‘Heritage doesn't grow on trees,’ Mr Silver said.’
      • ‘Different venues, though, do not grow on trees.’
      • ‘Time is getting short and gorilla suits don't grow on trees.’
      be plentiful, be abundant, be numerous, proliferate, superabound, thrive, flourish, be thick on the ground
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • grow apart

    • (of two or more people) become gradually estranged.

      ‘he and his wife had been growing apart for at least a year’
      • ‘And instead of growing apart we worked through it together.’
      • ‘It is the difference between growing apart and falling apart…’
      • ‘The play focuses on how a couple grows apart, and how love doesn't always have a happy ending.’
      • ‘The pair, who tied the knot in Las Vagas in 2001, have apparently begun a trial separation, blaming work commitments for their growing apart.’
      • ‘Over the past couple of months we have been growing apart and we decided this was best for both of us.’
      • ‘The suggestion was most welcomed by the patient, who recognized that he had indeed been growing apart from his wife and family.’
      • ‘When these factors are combined with the usual suspects of boredom, the dreaded ‘seven-year itch’, growing apart from each other and the other traditional reasons for breaking up, what chance does love have?’
      • ‘My best friend and I are growing apart, very quickly.’
      • ‘In the 1930s, however, the members gradually grew apart.’
      • ‘His parents gradually grew apart and his father moved to Monte Carlo while his mother, who was deaf, became an Orthodox nun.’
  • grow away from

    • Become gradually separated from (one's family, friends, or background)

      ‘emotionally his family had grown away from him’
      • ‘I'm in the military and away from home; many of my friends from home grew away from me.’
      • ‘Having expressed all your pain you grow away from it.’
      • ‘I suppose I grew out of it… or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I grew away from it.’
      • ‘By taking visual arts away from the communicative arts in the classroom, schools would grow away from the fundamental skills that adults need to function in society.’
      • ‘But this is not the world that his character is trying to escape or grow away from.’
      • ‘I even found myself growing away from the very person responsible for my temporary insanity and my hospital visit.’
      • ‘He didn't want to alienate his daughter who was already growing away from him.’
      • ‘We may fear that our partner is growing away from us.’
      • ‘Until and unless one of them grows away from the other, the things that make them love each other will not change.’
      • ‘That is something that the young are growing away from today.’
  • grow into

    • 1Become as a result of natural development or gradual increase.

      ‘Rome began as a city and grew into a huge empire’
      • ‘It's a really fascinating thing to be here for that, because we can be part of it, whatever it grows into.’
      • ‘The bone cells were cultured in lab until they grew into a big enough chunk that a jeweller could carve it into a ring.’
      • ‘The family return to Edinburgh in the 1930s and, as Esme grows into an independent and spirited young woman, she becomes more and more estranged from her middle-class family, who find her behaviour shameful.’
      • ‘Just one background song is enough for a little lad to grow into a 25-year-old man.’
      • ‘The whole point of America is that it didn't just grow into nationhood from the gradual merging of peoples and consolidation of lands.’
      • ‘As she grows into a young society lady, her behaviour appears no less bizarre, and she eventually gives up her comfy middle-class existence to live in a beat-up house on a small island.’
      • ‘After the better part of a decade hoping that the person I am growing into was good enough for her I had my moment of glory, and now I have my lifetime of regrets.’
      • ‘Quickly this confidence grew into the arrogance of success and they became so comfortable they didn't even notice what was happening.’
      • ‘Imagine one single, little seed, buried in the earth, slowly growing into a plant large enough to provide shelter for a great flock of birds.’
      • ‘You pull out a fresh sheet of paper and, with great effort, jot down a few more ideas, one of which grows into an enormous half-page doodle involving flowers and lightning bolts.’
    • 2Become large enough to wear (a garment) comfortably.

  • grow on

    • Become gradually more appealing to (someone)

      ‘the tune grows on you’
      • ‘Although, I suppose, his face grows on you after a while.’
      • ‘Between them, they come up with a film that grows on you.’
      • ‘This is the kind of album that grows on you with every listen.’
      • ‘It looks like TV and has the jokey obviousness of TV, but I tell ya, it grows on you.’
      • ‘His poetry grows on you, as unobtrusively as he himself does.’
      • ‘Boston grows on me more and more when I go down there, Providence too.’
      • ‘But give the director that whim, and this film grows on you gradually.’
      • ‘And the damn thing grows on you, like the most insidious radio tunes.’
      • ‘Sometimes a new car's appearance grows on you, sometimes it does not appeal at all.’
      • ‘It grows on you, which is what makes it a work of genius.’
  • grow out

    • Disappear because of normal growth.

      ‘Colette's old perm had almost grown out’
      • ‘Experience has shown that each notched lobster will probably go through two breeding cycles before the mark grows out and it can legally be landed.’
      • ‘Unlike laser treatment, the hairs aren't vaporised, but grow out over a week.’
      • ‘They have a downward-pointing hook at the end of their upper beak that grows out and disappears by the time the nestlings fledge.’
      • ‘Don't go for a colour that's too radically different from your natural state: nothing looks worse than the roots growing out look.’
      • ‘And I'm sure that bald patch won't take too long to grow out.’
      • ‘I also bought a box of hair dye to even out the tones because I'd had my hair highlighted months ago and it's growing out and looked nasty.’
      • ‘At Leicester, I'd have it blond for six months and then let it grow out to its natural colour for six months.’
      • ‘I dyed the bright red out of my fringe because the bleach was growing out and I can't afford to get it done again and I can't be bothered doing it myself so now I am a polite shade of chocolate brown.’
      • ‘A complete cure, when it is achieved, takes a year, the amount of time required for the infected nail to grow out completely.’
      • ‘What are some good styling options for short relaxed hair as a perm grows out?’
  • grow out of

    • 1Become too large to wear (a garment)

      ‘blazers that they grew out of’
      • ‘Buying clothes that suit either a boy or a girl is a good choice, because the chances are great the baby will grow out of it long before it is worn out.’
      • ‘Then there are doctor's bills and medicine and clothes that they grow out of practically before they have a chance to wear them.’
      • ‘If the school has a long list of uniform requirements the costs can mount up rapidly, particularly as the child might quickly grow out of an expensive blazer or need new sports shoes.’
      • ‘I made my bed thoughtfully - it was lucky I was nearing sixteen and wasn't going to be here long enough to grow out of my clothes and then be made to wear second hands.’
      1. 1.1Become too mature to retain (a childish habit)
        ‘most children grow out of tantrums by the time they're three’
        • ‘It's funny how you expect, as you mature, that you will grow out of some of the attitudes you used to carry.’
        • ‘People grow out of so many things in time, habits that fall away as they shed their youth and see that some things have no real future.’
        • ‘Unfortunately, lying is not something that we grow out of.’
        • ‘It's much easier to go along with your toddler and humour his needs until he grows out of these strange habits.’
        • ‘On the pitch, where he has been shown 24 yellow cards and one red since moving to England, the dissent and petulant retaliation of which he is also accused are weaknesses he claims to be growing out of.’
        • ‘Honesty is the key to a good romance so just chill out and you'll see that this is just a stage in your life that you will eventually grow out of if you just relax and be yourself.’
        • ‘‘He has to have brain scans and he's got chronic lung disease which keeps him on a ventilator but we've been told he'll grow out of that,’ she said.’
        • ‘I do blame smoking in public for my habit, alongside peer pressure - something you never grow out of.’
        • ‘This is one of the things that teenagers are supposed to grow out of when they become adults - a monomanical self-centeredness.’
        • ‘As it happens, lying was a habit my friend grew out of.’
  • grow up

    • 1Become an adult.

      ‘a young girl who grew up in Texas’
      • ‘Would it be better to treat children like adults while they are growing up?’
      • ‘We hope each generation will grow up to be better and kinder adults than the last.’
      • ‘A healthy baby is born but as he grows up he begins to show disturbing behaviour and they regret their actions.’
      • ‘Not surprisingly, when these children grow up to be young adults, they do just that.’
      • ‘Milk teeth are replaced by permanent, adult teeth as a child grows up.’
      • ‘Though they seem to grow up faster, their transition into adult life is being delayed.’
      • ‘He grew up as a cringing youth, and eventually became a bank robber and had to flee the country.’
      • ‘As the surviving children grow up into adults, we must feel eternally grateful that they are here.’
      • ‘Of course, he'd grown up with it, and people who grew up with it tended to take it for granted.’
      • ‘Longing to be an adult is part of growing up, part of the normal expression of most children's fantasy lives.’
      1. 1.1often in imperativeBegin to behave or think sensibly.
        ‘grow up, sister, and come into the real world’
        • ‘On the day when it begins to discipline itself with a self-denying ordinance we shall know it has begun to grow up.’
        • ‘Just as childhood friendships fall apart when one friend grows up faster than the other, it couldn't make the leap to next generation consoles.’

Origin

Old English grōwan (originally referring chiefly to plants), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch groeien, also to grass and green.

Pronunciation

grow

/ɡrəʊ/