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 Manukyans said a few days later they were asked by the fertility clinic to take a DNA test. Jamie Yuccas, CBS News, ""I didn't get to feel him kick": Couple's embryo implanted in another woman in IVF mix-up," 10 July 2019 The Brady Davises’ fertility specialist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, Brian Kaplan, said transgender pregnancies are still unusual, and treating the Brady Davises was satisfying on multiple levels — societal, medical and personal. Nara Schoenberg, chicagotribune.com, "‘We’re pregnant!’: High-profile transgender couple Myles and Precious Brady Davis are expecting their first child," 9 July 2019 The response to Rebrikov, who heads a genome-editing laboratory at a fertility clinic in Moscow, has so far been more muted. STAT, "Alarmed by new ‘CRISPR babies’ plan, top science figures say they’re powerless to stop it," 24 June 2019 The national government wants to raise the fertility rate from 1.4 children per woman to 1.8. The Economist, "Rural areas bear the burden of Japan’s ageing, shrinking population," 29 June 2019 Meantime, the general fertility rate—defined as the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44—fell to the lowest level since the start of federal record-keeping. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Cradles, Pews and the Societal Shifts Coming to Politics," 24 June 2019 Japan’s childcare and education investments Japan is losing its battle (pdf) to meaningfully raise fertility rates. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Japan is trying really hard to persuade women to start having babies again," 21 June 2019 That means their life expectancy, fertility rate, and the length of their generations should be pretty similar. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "How many people did it take to colonize Australia?," 19 June 2019 This is due in part to global life expectancy continuing to rise as fertility rates continue to fall. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "The world's population could stop growing by 2100, UN report finds," 18 June 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.

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First Known Use of fertility

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fertility

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

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

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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

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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 complain fretfully

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