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 prolificacy (audio) \ noun
prolifically \ prə-​ˈli-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce prolifically (audio) \ adverb
prolificness \ prə-​ˈli-​fik-​nəs How to pronounce prolificness (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 Since entering the Senate race in early 2019, Kelly has been one of the most prolific fundraisers in the country and has shown a consistent lead on McSally in recent polling. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Mark Kelly's business subsidies, ties to Chinese tech firm under fire," 14 May 2020 Bluegills are likely the most prolific sunfish, followed by red ear sunfish, rock bass, and warmouths. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Beginner’s Guide to Catching Your First Fish," 11 May 2020 Nearly 30 years later, the artists that Harrell brought on with Uptown remain some of the industry’s most prolific stars and musical influences. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Hip-Hop and R&B Were Once Disparate. Andre Harrell Changed That.," 10 May 2020 Other figures in its camp include Jeff Miller, a prolific fundraiser for Trump. Megan Wilson,, "Once Bankrupt, a Tiny Broadband Company Thrives in the Trump Era," 5 May 2020 As one of the most prolific showrunners in contemporary Hollywood, Murphy always has numerous projects in the works at once. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Ryan Murphy explains how coronavirus is impacting his upcoming projects," 29 Apr. 2020 The Colts traded up three spots to snag Jonathan Taylor (41), one of the most prolific running backs in college football history. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "NFL draft grades: It's official, folks liked the Colts' 2020 draft haul," 27 Apr. 2020 Nunes’s outspokenness on this and other controversies related to Trump has made the congressman a darling of conservative media and turned him into one of the most prolific GOP fundraisers of the past few years. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Devin Nunes doubles pace of fundraising to $4M in first quarter," 15 Apr. 2020 The work of the task force has deepened divisions in Trenton, with Murphy and his allies demanding big changes in the incentive programs while Norcross, a prolific Democratic fundraiser, and his allies in the Legislature resist such changes. Jeff Pillets, ProPublica, "New Jersey Political Boss Defends Tax Breaks, Denounces “King George” Critics," 19 Nov. 2019

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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prolific.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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