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 1970s and '80s were an especially fertile and defining period for standup, and Shore was a key gatekeeper, showcasing performers like Letterman, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor, Garry Shandling, and Roseanne Barr. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Mitzi Shore, Comedy Store owner, dead at 87," 11 Apr. 2018 North Carolina is another state that has not been a fertile recruiting territory for Michigan. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football recruiting: Several top prospects still uncommitted," 2 July 2018 The group has since found fertile ground in the desert nation along Africa’s easternmost edge. Nicholas Bariyo, WSJ, "Group Behind Nairobi Attack Has Eluded Military," 19 Jan. 2019 This created a fertile environment for people to experiment with gig work. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "How Estimates of the Gig Economy Went Wrong," 7 Jan. 2019 Whether personal, historical, or cultural, Lagerfeld’s exploration of the past inevitably yields fertile ideas for these collections. Amy Verner, Vogue, "Vogue Got an Exclusive Tour of Chanel’s Ateliers While Tonight’s Métiers d’Art Collection Was Being Made," 5 Dec. 2018 Like the television series, The Handmaid's Tale novel is set in Gilead, a dystopian world in which fertile women (called handmaids) are forced to bear children for wealthier families. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Margaret Atwood Is Writing a Sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale'," 28 Nov. 2018 The detailed page shows a calendar by default with predicted period days highlighted in pink and estimated fertile days highlighted in blue (along with a solid blue marker for your day of ovulation). Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Fitbit Charge 3 review: Peppering a fitness tracker with smartwatch powers," 12 Oct. 2018 The classic textbook definition, known as the biological species concept, is a group of organisms that only produce fertile offspring with one another. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Defines A Species?," 17 Aug. 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.

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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

15 Mar 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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