adjective fer·tile \ˈfər-təl\

: producing many plants or crops : able to support the growth of many plants

: producing a large amount of something

: producing many ideas

Full Definition of FERTILE

a :  producing or bearing fruit in great quantities :  productive
b :  characterized by great resourcefulness of thought or imagination :  inventive <a fertile mind>
c obsolete :  plentiful
a (1) :  capable of sustaining abundant plant growth <fertile soil> (2) :  affording abundant possibilities for growth or development <damp bathrooms are fertile ground for fungi — Consumer Reports> <a fertile area for research>
b :  capable of growing or developing <a fertile egg>
c (1) :  capable of producing fruit
(2) of an anther :  containing pollen (3) :  developing spores or spore-bearing organs
d :  capable of breeding or reproducing
:  capable of being converted into fissionable material <fertile uranium 238>
fer·tile·ly \-təl-(l)ē\ adverb
fer·tile·ness \-təl-nəs\ noun

Examples of FERTILE

  1. an area that is a fertile breeding ground for political extremism
  2. This subject remains a fertile field for additional investigation.
  3. He has a fertile mind.

Origin of FERTILE

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin fertilis, from ferre to carry, bear — more at bear
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of FERTILE

fertile, fecund, fruitful, prolific mean producing or capable of producing offspring or fruit. fertile implies the power to reproduce in kind or to assist in reproduction and growth <fertile soil>; applied figuratively, it suggests readiness of invention and development <a fertile imagination>. fecund emphasizes abundance or rapidity in bearing fruit or offspring <a fecund herd>. fruitful adds to fertile and fecund the implication of desirable or useful results <fruitful research>. prolific stresses rapidity of spreading or multiplying by or as if by natural reproduction <a prolific writer>.

Other Agriculture/Gardening Terms

fallow, graft, heirloom, loam, potash, soilage, swath, tilth, windfall

Rhymes with FERTILE

FERTILE Defined for Kids


adjective fer·tile \ˈfər-təl\

Definition of FERTILE for Kids

:  producing many plants or crops <fertile fields>
:  producing many ideas <a fertile mind>
:  capable of developing and growing <a fertile egg>
Medical Dictionary


adjective fer·tile \ˈfərt-əl, chiefly British ˈfər-ˌtīl\

Medical Definition of FERTILE

:  capable of growing or developing <fertile egg>
:  developing spores or spore-bearing organs
a :  capable of breeding or reproducing b of an estrous cycle :  marked by the production of one or more viable eggs


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