Definition of fertile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfəːtʌɪl/


1(Of soil or land) producing or capable of producing abundant vegetation or crops: the fertile coastal plain
More example sentences
  • The mountains prevented large-scale farming and impelled the Greeks to look beyond their borders to new lands where fertile soil was more abundant.
  • Malaria has been eradicated and the Hule has become one of the breadbaskets of Israel, acre upon acre of fertile land abundant with fruit and grain and garden crops.
  • The soil is extremely fertile and produces immense crops when there is enough rainfall, otherwise they are a failure.
fecund, fruitful, productive, high-yielding, prolific, proliferating, propagative, generative;
rich, lush
rare fructuous
1.1Producing many new and inventive ideas: her fertile imagination
More example sentences
  • In Lindsay's fertile imagination, such ideas interact in strange and unexpected ways.
  • These characters are all part of Kamen's fertile imagination as he invented all of these roles.
  • It is from this very imagination of some fertile minds that various religious texts, rituals and ideas have sprouted.
imaginative, inventive, innovative, innovational, creative, visionary, original, ingenious, resourceful, constructive;
productive, prolific
1.2(Of a situation) encouraging a particular activity or feeling: conditions at the time provided fertile ground for revolutionary movements
More example sentences
  • Taking refuge in the dharma, taking a passionless approach, means that all of life is regarded as a fertile situation and a learning situation, always.
  • When Chester accepted the invitation to go to the University of Kentucky, it put our family in a fertile situation where we could grow individually and as a family.
  • The ramps will be approximately 150 yards away from this hostel, making it a fertile prospect for drug pushers both on site at the hostel and also the ramp site.
2(Of a person, animal, or plant) able to conceive young or produce seed.
Example sentences
  • It's in our biology to seek out young and fertile creatures.
  • Since female mice are fertile for more than a year, their ovaries had to be generating new oocytes, the scientists reasoned.
  • All five mice were fertile and went on to produce their own healthy pups.
able to conceive, able to have children, fecund, potent, generative, reproductive
2.1(Of a seed or egg) capable of becoming a new individual.
Example sentences
  • Some of my favorite duck hens were getting older though, so I had to reconsider artificial incubation for any fertile eggs they laid.
  • The left and right bars of each pair represent infertile and fertile eggs, respectively.
  • All females that laid fertile eggs were given a month's break.
2.2 Physics (Of nuclear material) able to become fissile by the capture of neutrons.
Example sentences
  • This report provides an overview of recyclable fissile and fertile materials inventories which can be reused as nuclear fuel.
  • It does not contain fissile or fertile nuclear materials; therefore, there is no risk of nuclear proliferation.


Late Middle English: via French from Latin fertilis, from ferre 'to bear'.

  • refer from Late Middle English:

    Refer comes from Latin referre ‘carry back’, from re- ‘back’ and ferre ‘bring’. Referee dates from the early 17th century, but did not appear in sports contexts until the mid 19th century. Referre is also the source of mid 19th-century referendum from the Latin for ‘referring’. Ferre is the source of numerous words in English including confer ‘bring together’; defer ‘put to one side or away’, which shares an origin with differ; fertile ‘bearing’; and transfer ‘carry across’, all of which came into the language in the Late Middle English period.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fer|tile

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