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

Dan Raudabaugh, the league’s most accurate passer, has returned from injury to lead the Soul to two straight wins, while Randy Hippeard, the league’s second-most prolific passer, will be called on to stop the Brigade’s three-game slide. Jonas Shaffer,, "No. 2 seed Brigade open Arena Football League semifinal series at Philadelphia," 13 July 2018 New data collected by a Canadian energy research group shows which oil and gas explorers in West Texas have the most prolific wells. Rye Druzin, Houston Chronicle, "New study shows who has top wells in West Texas," 11 July 2018 Body parts subject to the most prolific fibropapillomatosis tumor growth include the eyes – affecting turtles’ ability to see and survive in the wild – and the soft, vulnerable underside of the shell. Jessica Alice Farrell, Smithsonian, "Should We Share Human Cancer Treatments With Tumorous Turtles?," 11 July 2018 The Cardinals haven’t had the most prolific offense this year, but this matchup leans heavily in their favor. Mike Barner,, "MLB DFS Plays for July 10," 10 July 2018 With approximately 300 opinions issued in 12 years as a judge and a raft of legal articles and speaking engagements, Kavanaugh was the most prolific of the nominees the president was said to be considering for the role. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Supreme Court nominee, helped write 'Starr Report'," 9 July 2018 Schechter, who has authored several historical true crime novels, delves deep into the life of one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana serial killer Belle Gunness and her 'murder farm' being developed into TV series," 27 June 2018 Ken and Sarah Ramsey The husband-wife duo from Eastern Kentucky are among the most prolific thoroughbred owners and breeders of all-time. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Bob Baffert, Bob Beatty inducted to Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame," 27 June 2018 Andreessen Horowitz has been one of the earliest and most prolific backers of crypto ventures. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Andreessen Horowitz Pours $300 Million into Crypto Fund," 25 June 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

5 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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