fertile

adjective
fer·​tile | \ ˈfər-tᵊl, chiefly British -ˌtī(-ə)l \

Definition of fertile

1a : producing or bearing many crops in great quantities : productive fertile fields of corn and oats
b : characterized by great resourcefulness of thought or imagination : inventive a fertile mind
c obsolete : plentiful
2a(1) : capable of sustaining abundant plant growth fertile soil
(2) : affording abundant possibilities for growth or development damp bathrooms are fertile ground for fungiConsumer Reports a fertile area for research
b : capable of growing or developing a fertile egg
c(1) : capable of producing fruit fertile trees
(2) of an anther : containing pollen
(3) : developing spores or spore-bearing organs
d : capable of breeding or reproducing
3 : capable of being converted into fissionable material fertile uranium 238

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fertile

fertilely \ ˈfər-​tᵊl-​(l)ē \ adverb
fertileness \ ˈfər-​tᵊl-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of fertile in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

An ecosystem stable enough to provide for an entire Javan rhino population, even a small one, would require over 200 species of plants, fertile soil, and lots of water. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Devastating Tsunami Threatens Endangered Rhinos," 28 Dec. 2018 Farmers chose flatland with fertile soil in temperate climates. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Use well-draining, fertile soil with plenty of coir. Sharon Tregaskis, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way to Grow Ginger at Home," 29 July 2018 But despite a fertile soil, ample rain, good equipment and adequate farming capabilities, the farmers say their yields were significantly lower than expected. Kristine Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "Black soybean farmers say they were deliberately sold defective seeds because of their race," 12 July 2018 The insects’ eggs are usually laid in fertile mushroom soil, and the flies grow alongside the crop. Vinny Vella, Philly.com, "$90,000 state grant to help study infestation of Chesco mushroom flies," 5 June 2018 Indeed, the fertile soils of Bornholm supply produce to much of the headline-grabbing New Nordic restaurants in the capital, like Kadeau, whose chef-owner Nicolai Nørregaard grew up here and runs a seasonal pop-up on the beach every summer. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Places to Travel in June," 9 May 2018 Computer models predict more than 3 feet of rain in the eastern part of the state, a fertile low-lying plain veined by brackish rivers with a propensity for escaping their banks. Michael Biesecker, Fox News, "Hurricane could flood many waste sites, creating toxic brew," 12 Sep. 2018 Computer models predict more than 3 feet of rain in the eastern part of the state, a fertile low-lying plain veined by brackish rivers with a propensity for escaping their banks. Michael Biesecker, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane could flood many waste sites, creating toxic brew," 11 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fertile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of fertile

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fertile

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin fertilis, from ferre to carry, bear — more at bear

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fertile

Statistics for fertile

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fertile

The first known use of fertile was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fertile

fertile

adjective

English Language Learners 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

fertile

adjective
fer·​tile | \ ˈfər-tᵊl \

Kids Definition of fertile

1 : producing many plants or crops fertile fields
2 : producing many ideas a fertile mind
3 : capable of developing and growing a fertile egg

fertile

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

Medical Definition of fertile

1 : capable of growing or developing fertile egg
2 : developing spores or spore-bearing organs
3a : capable of breeding or reproducing
b of an estrous cycle : marked by the production of one or more viable eggs

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fertile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fertile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fertile

Spanish Central: Translation of fertile

Nglish: Translation of fertile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fertile for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fertile

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

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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