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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
pro•lif•er•ate /prəˈlɪfəˌreɪt/USA pronunciation   v. [no object],-at•ed, -at•ing. 
  1. to increase in number; spread rapidly:Fish proliferated in the warm seas.
pro•lif•er•a•tion /prəlɪfəˈreɪʃən/USA pronunciation  n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
pro•lif•er•ate  (prə lifə rāt′), 
v.i., v.t., -at•ed, -at•ing. 
  1. Developmental Biologyto grow or produce by multiplication of parts, as in budding or cell division, or by procreation.
  2. to increase in number or spread rapidly and often excessively.
  • prolifer(ous) + -ate1 1870–75
pro•lifer•a′tive, adj. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

proliferate /prəˈlɪfəˌreɪt/ vb
  1. to grow or reproduce (new parts, cells, etc) rapidly
  2. to grow or increase or cause to grow or increase rapidly
Etymology: 19th Century: from Medieval Latin prōlifer having offspring, from Latin prōlēs offspring + ferre to bear

proˈliferative adj

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