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

Both series call the ascendant streamer home, are inspired by prolific, beloved authors, and were produced to be Emmys bait with their lush, cinematic aesthetics., "Handmaid’s Tale," 13 July 2018 D’Souza is a former policy analyst under President Ronald Reagan and a prolific author well-known for works critical of Obama. Time, "President Trump Says He's Considering Commuting Rod Blagojevich's Sentence and Pardoning Martha Stewart," 31 May 2018 Until his abrupt retirement, Roth was a dedicated, prolific author who often published a book a year and was generous to writers from other countries. Douglas Perry,, "Woodburn teenager arrested after allegedly making school-shooting threats on Snapchat," 23 May 2018 New Orleans already prolific offense would be even more dangerous with No. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Jason Witten predicts Dez Bryant will sign with the Packers," 15 May 2018 Stephen King is one of America’s most prolific authors whose countless stories and books can be found in almost any retailer in the country. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Why Stephen King's school shooter book 'Rage' is out of print, and a copy costs $500," 14 May 2018 Moss, renowned interior designer, prolific author, gardener and tastemaker, will talk about her book which celebrates gracious hospitality, from assembling striking place settings to hosting a dinner party or simply serving an elegant afternoon tea. Courant Community, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 24 Apr. 2018 Countering Hyman was another young oncologist, Vinay Prasad of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, a prolific author of provocative journal articles and outspoken Twitter commentator with more than 17,000 followers. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "A cancer drug tailored to your tumor? Experts trade barbs over ‘precision oncology’," 24 Apr. 2018 How did Saint-Exupéry, an accomplished aviator and fighter pilot himself, as well as a prolific author, come to write the beloved tale? Sam Spengler, Smithsonian, "The Beloved Classic Novel “The Little Prince” Turns 75 Years Old," 3 Apr. 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

19 Sep 2018

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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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Comments on prolific

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