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grow (up)on (one)
"Upon" is more formal than "on."
1. To become more liked and appreciated by one. I didn't like her bubbly new assistant at first, but she grew on me in time. The novel was very tedious at the beginning, but it has grown upon me the more that I've read of it.
2. Of a feeling or emotion, to become more intense within one by gradual degrees. Unease grew upon me as we stepped into the dilapidated old house. The anger and indignation of the rejection grew on me as I drove home.
grow a set (of balls)
rude slang To start acting in a strong, confident, or courageous manner, especially after having previously failed to do so. Though "balls" is a slang term for testicles, the phrase is not exclusively applied to males. Often used as an imperative. You need to grow a set of balls and ask your boss for a raise already! Janet, I know you're nervous about asking Tom out on a date, but just grow a set and give it a shot!
1. Literally, to grow and move away from something. Wow, those bushes have really grown apart since we bought the place.
2. To experience a lessening of emotional intimacy in a relationship over time. Of course I still care about Ed—we've just grown apart over the years. We hardly even talk anymore.
To return to a previous length or degree of growth, as after having been cut or trimmed. I know you're not thrilled with your new haircut, but don't worry, it's just hair—it'll grow back. When do you think that part of the bush will grow back? I didn't realize how much it was hiding our ugly porch.
grow by leaps and bounds
To rapidly grow or expand. Our small company has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year, thanks in no small part to our aggressive new marketing campaign. Our puppy has grown by leaps and bounds since we switched to a new brand of dog food.
To move downward through or into something over time. Typically said of roots. The roots of that tree better not be growing down into our sewer pipe!
grow from (something)
1. To develop from a particular starting point or thing. Usually said of plants. What do tulips grow from? Bulbs?
2. To change and mature after having had a particular experience. That break-up was really painful, but I did grow from it—now, I only date people who truly care about me.
1. To fill something in with growth. Stop plucking your eyebrows and just let them grow in for once.
2. To develop some quality or characteristic to a greater degree. You'll grow in knowledge with every college class you take.
grow into (something)
1. To develop or mature into something over time. Yes, he's a troublemaker now, but he's just a kid—I'm sure he'll grow into a fine young man. It'll take time for this bulb to grow into a tulip, honey.
2. To develop a particular aptitude or skill set over time, as to fulfill or excel in a particular role. I think she'll grow into a great camp counselor by the end of the summer.
3. To grow and become able to fit into a particular size or item. It'll take some time before you grow into your big sister's clothes.
4. To worsen or intensify. You should really go to the doctor—a sinus infection can grow into something much worse.
5. To move into or pervade something in the act of growing. This plant seems to have grown into our gutter.
grow like Topsy
To rapidly grow or expand. Our small company has grown like Topsy over the past year, thanks in no small part to our aggressive new marketing campaign. Our puppy has grown like Topsy since we switched to a new brand of dog food.
grow on trees
Become available freely or without effort. Typically used in the phrase "money doesn't grow on trees." I can't believe you would spend your entire allowance on a silly video game. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know!
To become longer in length through the act of growing. Ugh, when will my bangs grow out? They're so short now that it looks ridiculous.
grow out of (something)
1. Literally, to emerge from a particular area or container, as of a plant. I can't believe that flowers are growing out of that rocky soil.
2. To no longer be able to fit into an article of clothing because one has grown taller or gained weight. This phrase is often applied to children. The baby has already grown out of her infant onesies.
3. To no longer do something because one has aged or matured. I thought she would have grown out of temper tantrums by now.
4. To emerge or develop from something. My novel grew out of a short story I'd written as a kid. Can you believe their fistfight grew out of a tense exchange in the check-out line?
grow over (something)
To extend over something, covering it. Often said of flora. Oh wow, I didn't realize how much the moss had grown over this wall.
grow to (do something)
To slowly begin to do something or feel a certain way over time. Ian annoyed me at first, but I really grew to like him as we spent more time together. Every young adult grows to want more freedom from their family—that's just how it is. Grandma grew to hate the cold and eventually moved to Florida.
(of things) To physically move closer together and connect or intertwine over time. That big bush out front is actually two smaller bushes that grew together. Molly, you have to wear a cast so that your broken bone grows together.
1. verb To become older and more mature; to progress toward adulthood. When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut Growing up with three older brothers probably did a lot to shape my personality.
2. verb To arise or emerge. Protests have grown up all across the nation in response to that incident.
3. expression An imperative to be more mature, typically directed at someone exhibiting what the speaker considers to be extremely immature behavior. Oh, grow up and take some responsibility for your actions. Ugh, you guys are so immature! Grow up!
grow up into (something)
To become a particular type of person as one ages and matures. Wow, Julie has really grown up into a very poised young woman. I can't believe she's already 16!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
grow apart(from someone or something)
1. Lit. [for things] to separate as they grow. These trees tend to grow apart from each other as they get bigger. They need to grow apart so they won't be too crowded.
2. Fig. [for people] to separate from one another gradually. Over the years, they grew apart from each other. Ted and Sharon grew apart and saw less and less of each other.
[for something that has come off] to grow back again. (Includes parts of plants and some animals, fingernails, toenails, etc.) The lizard's tail grew back in a few months. The leaves will grow back in a month or so.
grow down (into something)
[for roots] to penetrate downward as they grow. The young roots grew down into the rich soil. The roots grew down and drew up the precious water.
grow in something
1. [for someone] to increase in some quality, such as wisdom, strength, stature, etc. As I got older, I was supposed to grow in wisdom and other good things. Sam grew in strength as he got over the disease.
2. [for a plant] to develop or flourish in something or some place. These plants grow in rich soil with moderate moisture. They will grow well in this soil.
[for something that has been cut back] to regrow. Don't worry, your hair will grow out again. Will the grass grow out again, do you think?
[for things] to join together as they grow and develop. Two of these trees grew together when they were much smaller. The broken ends of the bone grew together far more rapidly than Chuck had thought.
to become mature; to become adult. All the children have grown up and the parents are left with a lot of debts.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Become an adult, as in Sam wants to be a policeman when he grows up. [First half of 1500s]
2. Come into existence, arise, as in Similar social problems grew up in all the big cities. [Late 1500s]
3. Become mature or sensible, as in It's time you grew up and faced the facts. This usage may also be in the form of an imperative (as in Don't bite your nails-grow up!) [Mid-1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
grow on treesbe plentiful or easily obtained.
1996 Nozipo Maraire Zenzele Children these days think that money grows on trees!
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
grow like ˈTopsygrow very fast, particularly in an unplanned or uncontrolled way: After many contributions, our website has grown like Topsy, and is now being completely revised.Topsy was a female character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
To fill an area by growing extensively within it: We cut down too many of the bushes, but they will grow in again soon.
1. To extend from a place by growing: I cut my hair short, but it will grow out again.
2. To cause something to become longer or thicker by growing it or letting it grow: I cut my hair short, but I'll grow it out again. He grew out his beard until his chin was completely covered.
3. grow out of To have developed to the point that one is too big or no longer suited to something: My son grew out of his shoes in three weeks.
4. grow out of To have developed in such a way that something is no longer interesting or appropriate: When I was young I liked eating bananas with pickles, but I grew out of it.
To become an adult: I want to be a teacher when I grow up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
grow like Topsy
Grow very quickly. This phrase alludes to the little African-American slave girl in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851), who when asked where she came from, replied, “I ’spect I growed. Don’t think nobody never made me.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer