Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

fertile

play
adjective fer·tile \ˈfər-təl\

Simple Definition of fertile

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

  • : producing a large amount of something

  • : producing many ideas

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of fertile

  1. 1 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

  2. 2 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

  3. 3 :  capable of being converted into fissionable material <fertile uranium 238>

fertilely

play \-təl-(l)ē\ adverb

fertileness

play \-təl-nəs\ noun

Examples of fertile in a sentence

  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 and Etymology 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

Rhymes with fertile



FERTILE Defined for Kids

fertile

play
adjective fer·tile \ˈfər-təl\

Definition of fertile for Students

  1. 1 :  producing many plants or crops <fertile fields>

  2. 2 :  producing many ideas <a fertile mind>

  3. 3 :  capable of developing and growing <a fertile egg>




Medical Dictionary

fertile

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

Medical Definition of fertile

  1. 1:  capable of growing or developing <fertile egg>

  2. 2:  developing spores or spore-bearing organs

  3. 3a:  capable of breeding or reproducingbof an estrous cycle :  marked by the production of one or more viable eggs





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fertile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

torrent interruption megillah rebellion
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ