Choose the right word
fertile, fecund, fruitful, prolific
A fertile woman is one who has the power to produce offspring, just as fertile soil produces crops and a fertile imagination produces ideas. This adjective pertains to anything in which seeds (or thoughts) can take root and grow. A woman with ten children might be described as fecund, which means that she is not only capable of producing many offspring but has actually done it. A woman can be fertile, in other words, without necessarily being fecund. Fruitful, whose meaning is very close to that of fecund when used to describe plants and may replace fertile in reference to soil or land, pertains specifically to something that promotes fertility or fecundity ( a fruitful downpour). It can also apply in a broader sense to anything that bears or promotes results ( a fruitful idea; a fruitful discussion). While it's one thing to call a woman with a large family fecund, prolific is more usually applied to animals or plants in the literal sense of fertility, and suggests reproducing in great quantity or with rapidity. Figuratively, prolific is often used of highly productive creative efforts ( a prolific author with 40 titles published).