Synonym Chooser

How is the word fertile distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of fertile are fecund, fruitful, and prolific. While all these words mean "producing or capable of producing offspring or fruit," fertile implies the power to reproduce in kind or to assist in reproduction and growth; applied figuratively, it suggests readiness of invention and development.

fertile soil
a fertile imagination

Where would fecund be a reasonable alternative to fertile?

While the synonyms fecund and fertile are close in meaning, fecund emphasizes abundance or rapidity in bearing fruit or offspring.

a fecund herd

How is fruitful related to other words for fertile?

Fruitful adds to fertile and fecund the implication of desirable or useful results.

fruitful research

In what contexts can prolific take the place of fertile?

Although the words prolific and fertile have much in common, prolific stresses rapidity of spreading or multiplying by or as if by natural reproduction.

a prolific writer

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Cite this Entry

“Fertile.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/fertile. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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