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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The common condition affects one in 10 women and can impact fertility, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Julianne Hough and husband Brooks Laich are 'going through IVF' with no 'shame or guilt'," 19 June 2019 The tradition of the wedding cake dates to ancient Roman times, when a hard barley cake was broken over brides’ heads to invoke the fertility powers of Jupiter. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "Couples are opting out of wedding cakes for more distinctive sweets.," 19 June 2019 The 2019 projection cited slowing population growth, punctuated by declining fertility, as an underlying trend. Rick Gladstone, BostonGlobe.com, "World population is slowing in growth and getting older, says UN," 17 June 2019 These people might think to acknowledge people who’s parents have died, or people going through fertility struggles — but people with bad parents often go under the radar, and Moore says this can make people who are in the situation feel more alone. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "How To Handle Father's Day When Your Dad Is Toxic," 15 June 2019 Use a cover crop – especially a legume such as crimson clover – over winter to add organic matter and increase soil fertility. oregonlive.com, "Trial gardens show vegetables can be grown without irrigation," 11 June 2019 These eggs, believed to be unfertilized, were regularly discarded until 2015, when keepers started incubating them for a research project focused on reptile fertility. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "The National Zoo’s Female Asian Water Dragon Successfully Reproduced Without a Male," 6 June 2019 Another bill Abbott signed makes fertility fraud a crime in Texas. Jamie Hancock, Dallas News, "Red light cameras' fate, Abbott's denial, Ted Cruz on Mexico tariffs, Robert E. Lee statue sold," 6 June 2019 For that reason, even the measure of couples seeking fertility services — which hasn’t budged significantly over the past two decades — isn’t very telling. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Sperm counts are falling. This isn’t the reproductive apocalypse — yet.," 30 May 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of fertility

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fertility

Statistics for fertility

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fertility

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fertility



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fertility

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fertility

Spanish Central: Translation of fertility

Nglish: Translation of fertility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fertility for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fertility

Comments on fertility

What made you want to look up fertility? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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