adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin fertilis, from ferre to carry, bear — more at bear Date: 15th century 1. a. producing or bearing fruit in great quantities ; productive b. characterized by great resourcefulness of thought or imagination ; inventive <
a fertile mind
c. obsolete plentiful 2. a. (1) capable of sustaining abundant plant growth <
fertile soil
(2) affording abundant possibilities for growth or development <
damp bathrooms are fertile ground for fungi —Consumer Reports
a fertile area for research
b. capable of growing or developing <
a fertile egg
c. (1) capable of producing fruit (2) of an anther containing pollen (3) developing spores or spore-bearing organs d. capable of breeding or reproducing 3. capable of being converted into fissionable material <
fertile uranium 238
fertilely adverbfertileness noun Synonyms: 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

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • fertile — [ fɛrtil ] adj. • XIVe; lat. fertilis 1 ♦ Qui produit beaucoup de végétation utile (sol, terre). ⇒ fécond, productif, riche. Terre fertile (cf. De la bonne terre). Champ fertile. Terre fertile en blés, en vignes. Rendre un sol fertile. ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • fertile — fertile, fecund, fruitful, prolific mean having or manifesting the power to produce fruit or offspring. The same distinctions in implications and connotations are observable in their corresponding nouns fertility, fecundity, fruitfulness,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Fertile — Fer tile (? or ?; 277), a. [L. fertilis, fr. ferre to bear, produce: cf. F. fertile. See {Bear} to support.] 1. Producing fruit or vegetation in abundance; fruitful; able to produce abundantly; prolific; fecund; productive; rich; inventive; as,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fertile — FERTILE. adj. de t. g. Fecond, Qui produit, qui rapporte beaucoup. Champ fertile. terre fertile. pays fertile. fertile en bled, en vin, &c. On dit fig. Un esprit fertile, pour dire, Un esprit qui produit facilement quantité de belles choses. Et,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • fertile — Fertile, Fertilis, Foecundus, Huber. Champ fertile et abondant, Rus saturum. Fort fertile, Praefoecundus, Ferax. Lieu fertile, Locus fructuosissimus. Jardins fertiles, Foelices horti. Terre fertile, Solum laetum, B. Rendre fertile, Huberare,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Fertile — Fertile, IA U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 360 Housing Units (2000): 161 Land area (2000): 0.940131 sq. miles (2.434927 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.940131 sq. miles (2.434927 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Fertile — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Fertile (Iowa) Fertile (Minnesota) Fertile (Missouri) Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • fertile — [fʉrt′ l; fʉr′tīl΄] adj. [ME < OFr < L fertilis < stem of ferre, BEAR1] 1. producing abundantly; rich in resources or invention; fruitful; prolific 2. causing or helping fertility [the sun s fertile warmth] 3. able to produce young,… …   English World dictionary

  • fertile — I adjective arable, bearing offspring freely, creative, fecund, fecundus, feracious, ferax, fertilis, flowering, fructiferous, fructuous, fruitful, imaginative, ingenious, inventive, lush, luxuriant, original, originative, parturient,… …   Law dictionary

  • fertile — mid 15c., from M.Fr. fertil and directly from L. fertilis bearing in abundance, fruitful, productive, from ferre to bear (see INFER (Cf. infer)). Fertile Crescent (1914) was coined by U.S. archaeologist James H. Breasted (1865 1935) …   Etymology dictionary

  • fertile — / fɛrtile/ agg. [dal lat. fertĭlis, der. di ferre produrre ]. 1. [che produce molto, detto spec. del terreno agrario: terra f. ] ▶◀ fecondo, (lett.) ferace, fruttifero, (lett.) pingue, produttivo, ricco, (lett.) ubertoso. ◀▶ arido, improduttivo,… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

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