fer·​til·​i·​ty | \ (ˌ)fər-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce fertility (audio) \

Definition of fertility

1 : the quality or state of being fertile
2 : the birthrate of a population

Examples of fertility in a Sentence

She studied the effects of pollution on the fertility of the local fish population. The doctor ordered a test of his fertility. The area is known for its soil fertility. the fertility of his imagination
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Recent Examples on the Web The shutdown generated a flurry of media attention and pushback from fertility doctors and patients. Natalie Lampert, New York Times, "Fertility Clinics Stay Open Despite Unclear Guidelines," 1 May 2020 Her fertility doctor planned to harvest the eggs in a 15-minute surgical procedure about a week later. NBC News, "'Adding insult to injury': Couples struggle with IVF cancellations amid coronavirus pandemic," 19 Mar. 2020 Among other luxury home buyers and sellers this week: A Scottsdale fertility doctor, two allergy physicians and the founder of an airplane museum. Ebony Day, azcentral, "Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Addison Reed buys $3.5M Scottsdale home," 20 Jan. 2020 By Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic The Atlantic’s Sarah Zhang has done fantastic reporting this year on the cultural ramifications of consumer DNA testing, including this story about an Indiana fertility doctor named Donald Cline. Stat Staff, STAT, "We wish we’d written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2019," 24 Dec. 2019 Other times, genetic tests have revealed a fertility doctor’s gross misconduct. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Why DNA testing kits shouldn’t be on your holiday shopping list," 21 Dec. 2019 The series, about a fertility doctor (Timothy Hutton) who secretly inseminated his patients with his own sperm, was a failure out of the gate with both viewers and critics. Jenny Cohen, USA TODAY, "TV midseason report card: From 'Evil' to 'Stumptown,' which new shows are sticking around?," 5 Dec. 2019 But some fertility doctors think artificial intelligence could help tilt the odds in their patients’ favor. Emily Mullin, WSJ, "IVF Often Doesn’t Work. Could an Algorithm Help?," 4 Apr. 2019 On March 17, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommended that fertility clinics and doctors suspend all new treatment cycles during the COVID-19 crisis, including in vitro fertilization, intrauterine inseminations and egg freezing. Nina Martin, ProPublica, "What Coronavirus Means for Pregnancy and Other Things New and Expecting Mothers Should Know," 19 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fertility.' 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 fertility

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fertility

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fertility

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fertility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fertility. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for fertility


How to pronounce fertility (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fertility

: the ability to produce young
: the ability to support the growth of many plants
: the ability to produce many ideas


fer·​til·​i·​ty | \ ˌfər-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce fertility (audio) \

Kids Definition of fertility

: the condition of being fertile soil fertility


fer·​til·​i·​ty | \ (ˌ)fər-ˈtil-ət-ē How to pronounce fertility (audio) \
plural fertilities

Medical Definition of fertility

1 : the quality or state of being fertile
2 : the birthrate of a population — compare mortality sense 2b

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