pro·​lif·​ic | \ prə-ˈli-fik \

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 \ noun
prolifically \ prə-​ˈli-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
prolificness \ prə-​ˈli-​fik-​nəs \ 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

There are few Hollywood A-listers as prolific and, well, iconic, as Julia Roberts. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Julia Roberts Just Proved Why 50 Is the New 30," 3 Dec. 2018 This fictional Anthony Horowitz, like his real-life creator, is successful and prolific,... Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: A Postmodern Procedural," 15 June 2018 White male critics were the most prolific, writing an average of 14.3 reviews a year, followed by 11.1 by men of color, 9.4 by white women and finally 5.6 by women of color. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "Film Critics Even Less Diverse Than Films, Study Finds," 11 June 2018 Kane’s ability to corral those passes, hold his ground, and then lay the ball off to a teammate breaking upfield is well above average for such a prolific scorer. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Harry Kane: English Soccer’s Clark Kent," 18 June 2018 Smock, a prolific scorer at Richmond High School, came to IU to play football and basketball. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "From Bob Knight to Archie Miller: Examining IU basketball coaches' first full recruiting classes," 13 May 2018 Sydney Kilgore is one of the Cincinnati-area’s most prolific goal scorers in lacrosse. John Snodgrass,, "Prospect Breakdown: East's Horter best in the country," 21 Apr. 2018 Though Brown wasn't a prolific scorer, his consistency on the boards and distributing the ball made him an effective player even if his shot wasn't dropping. Tyson Alger,, "Troy Brown Jr. leaves Oregon early, declares for NBA Draft," 3 Apr. 2018 The most prolific scorer ever to play for a Michigan basketball program (men's or women's) is a national finalist for point guard of the year. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Katelynn Flaherty a finalist for national PG of the year," 26 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for prolific

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prolific

The first known use of prolific was in 1650

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More Definitions for prolific



English Language Learners Definition of prolific

: producing a large amount of something


pro·​lif·​ic | \ prə-ˈli-fik \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on prolific

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prolific

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prolific

Spanish Central: Translation of prolific

Nglish: Translation of prolific for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prolific for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prolific

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irregularly rounded

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