Word of the Day : December 15, 2017


verb FRUK-tuh-fye


1 : to bear fruit

2 : to make fruitful or productive

Did You Know?

Fructify derives from Middle English fructifien and ultimately from the Latin noun fructus, meaning "fruit." When the word was first used in English in the 14th century, it literally referred to the actions of plants that bore fruit; later it was used transitively to refer to the action of making something fruitful, such as soil. The word also expanded to encompass a figurative sense of "fruit," and it is now more frequently used to refer to the giving forth of something in profit from something else (such as dividends from an investment). Fructus also gave us the name of the sugar fructose, as well as usufruct, which refers to the legal right to enjoy the fruits or profits of something that belongs to someone else.


My parents are in a comfortable financial position, thanks to some investments that have recently begun to fructify.

"I don't care for the jokey body language and elaborate costuming of the four male bees in the Waltz of the Flowers, and yet I find myself paying close attention each time to how tightly they're woven into the musical tapestry. They're not just there to fructify the 16 female flowers, they also become part of one dance pattern after another…." — Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times, 16 Dec. 2013

Test Your Vocabulary

What verb can mean "to break at once into pieces" or "to drop off leaves, petals, or fruit"?



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