fe·​cund ˈfe-kənd How to pronounce fecund (audio) ˈfē- How to pronounce fecund (audio)
: fruitful in offspring or vegetation : prolific
a fecund breed of cattle
: intellectually productive or inventive to a marked degree
a fecund imagination
a fecund source of information
fecundity noun

Did you know?

Fecund and its synonyms fruitful and fertile all mean producing or capable of producing offspring or fruit, literally or figuratively. Fecund applies to things that yield offspring, fruit, or results in abundance or with rapidity ("a fecund herd," "a fecund imagination"). Fruitful emphasizes abundance, too, and often adds the implication that the results attained are desirable or useful ("fruitful plains," "a fruitful discussion"). Fertile implies the power to reproduce ("a fertile egg") or the power to assist in reproduction, growth, or development ("fertile soil," "a fertile climate for artists").

Choose the Right Synonym for fecund

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

Example Sentences

a fecund breed of cattle the Franklin stove, bifocals, and the lightning rod are just a few of the inventions that we owe to the fecund creativity of Benjamin Franklin
Recent Examples on the Web Sen worked in what was an extraordinarily fecund period for Bengali-language cinema, based in the eastern Indian film stronghold Calcutta (now Kolkata). Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 13 May 2023 There have been dozens more slamming the bureau for various transgressions, most of them figments of the fecund presidential imagination. Robert G. Kaiser, The New York Review of Books, 27 Feb. 2020 For example, France in the early 19th century was characterized by a situation of highly fecund Catholic immigrants arriving to reinforce the conservative Catholic faction among the native-born. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 21 Oct. 2010 The viewers’ eyes dance between the two quilt canvases, Sweet and Low (2021) and Raw Sugar (2021), displayed on the left and right, respectively, at The Armory, compelling us to look deeply into the forward gaze of the two women who are suspended in athletic poses against the fecund background. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 Instead, the 160-square-meter space is filled with a fecund profusion of leafy greens. IEEE Spectrum, 2 June 2018 For those who came of age listening to Top 40 radio at the end of the 1970s, the sounds of Blondie offered a singular glimpse into New York’s glittery underground during one of its most artistically fecund eras. Erik Morse, Vogue, 23 Aug. 2022 The original movie ended with a brief glimpse of something like Eden, the fecund greens of a park, children playing, innocence abundant. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2023 In the light of high noon, cotton fields are menacingly fecund, owing to the work of the enslaved laborers who stand painfully erect among the crop, like stalks themselves. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 14 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fecund.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin fecundus — more at feminine

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fecund was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near fecund

Cite this Entry

“Fecund.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fecund. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: producing many offspring or much vegetation : prolific
: mentally productive or inventive
fecundity noun

Medical Definition


fe·​cund ˈfek-ənd How to pronounce fecund (audio) ˈfēk- How to pronounce fecund (audio)
: characterized by having produced many offspring
: capable of producing : not sterile or barren
fecundity noun
plural fecundities

More from Merriam-Webster on fecund

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!