pro·​lif·​ic prə-ˈli-fik How to pronounce prolific (audio)
: producing young or fruit especially freely : fruitful
archaic : causing abundant growth, generation, or reproduction
: marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity
a prolific composer
prolificacy noun
prolifically adverb
prolificness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for prolific

fertile, fecund, fruitful, prolific mean producing or capable of producing offspring or fruit.

fertile implies the power to reproduce in kind or to assist in reproduction and growth

fertile soil

; applied figuratively, it suggests readiness of invention and development.

a fertile imagination

fecund emphasizes abundance or rapidity in bearing fruit or offspring.

a fecund herd

fruitful adds to fertile and fecund the implication of desirable or useful results.

fruitful research

prolific stresses rapidity of spreading or multiplying by or as if by natural reproduction.

a prolific writer

Examples of prolific in a Sentence

Since [David] Mamet is a prolific writer of Hollywood screenplays, there are today more people who know his work than know that they know it. Juliet Fleming, Times Literary Supplement, 18 Feb. 2000
The main rival to his pneumonia was the prolific thrush which went into his throat and stomach. Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting, 1993
A writer as established and prolific as Joyce Carol Oates can approach her material in a wealth of ways unavailable to the more plodding. Jane Smiley, New York Times Book Review, 5 May 1991
Here there are La restaurants, wine bars, bookshops, estate agents more prolific than doctors, and attractive people in black, few of them aging. Hanif Kureishi, Granta 22, Autumn 1987
a famously prolific author who could produce several works of fiction and nonfiction a year
Recent Examples on the Web Business Elon Musk sees another big advisory firm come out against his multibillion-dollar pay package May 31, 2024 Musk, who owns SpaceX and X, is a prolific user of the social media site formerly known as Twitter. Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2024 Singh was a prolific traveling freelance journalist. Ahmed Ali Akbar, Chicago Tribune, 12 June 2024 A little over a month ago, perennially prolific producer David E. Kelley gave us A Man in Full, a starry adaptation of Thom Wolfe’s best-selling, high-profile novel about an Atlanta power broker. Kristen Baldwin,, 11 June 2024 With the backing of a large, vocal contingent of supporters who’ll make the journey across the border, the prolific No. 9 said his team must be primed to seize its opportunity. Aleks Klosok, CNN, 11 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for prolific 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prolific.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French prolifique, from Middle French, from Latin proles + Middle French -figue -fic

First Known Use

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prolific was in 1650

Dictionary Entries Near prolific

Cite this Entry

“Prolific.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​lif·​ic prə-ˈlif-ik How to pronounce prolific (audio)
: producing young or fruit in large numbers
a prolific orchard
: highly inventive : productive
a prolific writer
prolifically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prolific

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