Definition of fructify
- its seeds shall fructify
- —Amy Lowell
- no partnership can fructify without candor on both sides
- —D. M. Ogilvy
Fructify derives from Middle English "fructifien" and ultimately from the Latin noun fructus, meaning "fruit." When the word was first used in English in the 14th century, it literally referred to the actions of plants that bore fruit; later it was used transitively to refer to the action of making something fruitful, such as soil. The word also expanded to encompass a figurative sense of "fruit," and it is now more frequently used to refer to the giving forth of something in profit from something else (such as dividends from an investment). "Fructus" also gave us the name of the sugar "fructose," as well as "usufruct," which refers to the legal right to enjoy the fruits or profits of something that belongs to someone else.
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
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