fertile

adjective
fer·​tile | \ ˈfər-tᵊl How to pronounce fertile (audio) , chiefly British -ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce fertile (audio) \

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

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Other Words from fertile

fertilely \ ˈfər-​tᵊl-​(l)ē How to pronounce fertilely (audio) \ adverb
fertileness \ ˈfər-​tᵊl-​nəs How to pronounce fertileness (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The tension between cynical-tinged hope and being trapped is fraught for Moses and Kitch and fertile for audiences aching to reckon with the American tango of liberation and subjugation. Barbara Ellis, The Know, "Review: Curious Theatre’s “Pass Over” puts violence against young black men at center stage," 14 Sep. 2019 Tonle Sap is also one of the most fertile inland fishing grounds in the world, so stop by one of the many floating restaurants for seafood. Kareena Gianani, National Geographic, "Explore Cambodia’s ancient stone city," 10 Sep. 2019 As all over Polynesia, what developed in these fertile places was a pyramid, with a hereditary aristocracy ruling, through its monopoly control of water, over a highly class-stratified society. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 The herbs thrive like grapes in the fertile loam and cooler temperatures of the Coombsville appellation. Sheryl Jean, Dallas News, "A small organic herbal tea farm flourishes in Northern California wine country," 28 Aug. 2019 Unlike rocky continental coasts, deltas are made of soft, fertile river sediments deposited over thousands of years that can easily compact and subside. Charlie Schmidt, Scientific American, "New Elevation Measure Shows Climate Change Could Quickly Swamp the Mekong Delta," 28 Aug. 2019 June is a handmaid in a dystopian theocracy that uses fertile women as commodities for child-bearing. Teghan Simonton, USA Today, "The Handmaid's Tale rides the political wave around women's rights — and contributes.," 13 Aug. 2019 While much of it would be considered poor habitat, because its plankton supplies have been drained by quagga mussels, the small amount of fertile waters could ironically buoy reproduction. Tony Briscoe, chicagotribune.com, "Asian carp have never breached a body of freshwater the size of Lake Michigan. Here’s the bizarre way they could survive and thrive in the world’s fifth largest lake.," 12 Aug. 2019 In the novel, Christian fundamentalist oligarchs have taken over America and forced fertile women to act as surrogates, by raping them and compelling them to bear their children. Nora Caplan-bricker, The New Republic, "Choose Your Own Family," 4 June 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for fertile

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fertile

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

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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 How to pronounce fertile (audio) \

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

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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

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