pro·​lif·​ic | \ prə-ˈli-fik How to pronounce prolific (audio) \

Definition of prolific

1 : producing young or fruit especially freely : fruitful
2 archaic : causing abundant growth, generation, or reproduction
3 : marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity a prolific composer

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Other Words from prolific

prolificacy \ prə-​ˈli-​fi-​kə-​sē How to pronounce prolific (audio) \ noun
prolifically \ prə-​ˈli-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce prolific (audio) \ adverb
prolificness \ prə-​ˈli-​fik-​nəs How to pronounce prolific (audio) \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web Nine of the past 10 Heisman winners have been quarterbacks and Jones is the man for the best team in the country and has been prolific, near the top of the list for every major QB stat. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Bold predictions for Week 16 in college football," 20 Dec. 2020 Maybe this is one way to fittingly convey how prolific and essential Springsteen has been throughout his career — SNL was spoofing him way back in season 10. Andy Hoglund,, "Saturday Night Live recap: Timothée Chalamet makes his hosting debut," 13 Dec. 2020 The group is prolific in Southern Ohio, hitting up some of the area’s music festivals and local venues regularly. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "20 Ohio bands you need to know about," 8 Dec. 2020 During this visit, the emperor was no less prolific in his efforts to build up Athens. History Magazine, "This Roman emperor spared no expense on his passion for all things Greek," 3 Dec. 2020 Some among the 104 legislators are far more prolific than average on the bill-sponsoring front to the point that, in 2018, the Legislature created an individual bill tracker to discourage what some leaders saw as an excessive abuse of process. Sydnee Gonzalez, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Legislative bills stacking up as 2021 session approaches," 28 Nov. 2020 But for how prolific the storm season has been, the intensity hasn’t exceeded forecasts with only four major hurricanes; Laura, Teddy, Delta and Epsilon. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Hurricane season 2020 has nothing on Florida’s deadliest, costliest landfalls," 19 Nov. 2020 Glades Central’s offense has been prolific through three games, and that continued last week. Adam Lichtenstein,, "High school football predictions in Broward, Palm Beach counties as season turns for home stretch," 18 Nov. 2020 Whose output of books, essays and poetry were as prolific as that of Cornel West? Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Remembering Juan Gómez Quiñones, Chicano studies legend and professor to all of L.A.," 17 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prolific.' 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 prolific

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prolific

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

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Time Traveler for prolific

Time Traveler

The first known use of prolific was in 1650

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Statistics for prolific

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prolific.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for prolific


How to pronounce prolific (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prolific

: producing a large amount of something


pro·​lif·​ic | \ prə-ˈli-fik How to pronounce prolific (audio) \

Kids Definition of prolific

1 : very inventive or productive a prolific writer
2 : producing young or fruit in large numbers a prolific fruit tree

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Comments on prolific

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