fruc·​ti·​fy | \ ˈfrək-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce fructify (audio) , ˈfru̇k- \
fructified; fructifying

Definition of fructify

intransitive verb

: to bear fruit its seeds shall fructify— Amy Lowell no partnership can fructify without candor on both sides— D. M. Ogilvy

transitive verb

: to make fruitful or productive

Did You Know?

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 of fructify

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for fructify

Middle English fructifien, from Anglo-French fructefier, from Latin fructificare, from fructus fruit

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fructify

Time Traveler for fructify

Time Traveler

The first known use of fructify was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about fructify

Statistics for fructify

Cite this Entry

“Fructify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on fructify

Britannica English: Translation of fructify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fructify

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!