Definition of fertile in English:


Syllabification: fer·tile
Pronunciation: /ˈfərtl


  • 1(Of soil or land) producing or capable of producing abundant vegetation or crops: fields along the fertile flood plains of the river figurative Germany in the 1920s and 30s was fertile ground for such ideas
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    • 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.
  • 1.1(Of a seed or egg) capable of becoming a new individual.
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    • 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.
  • 1.2(Of a person, animal, or plant) able to conceive young or produce seed: Barbara carefully calculated the period when she was most fertile
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    • 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
    technical fecund
  • 1.3(Of a person’s mind or imagination) producing many new and inventive ideas with ease.
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    • 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.
  • 1.4(Of a situation or subject) fruitful and productive in generating new ideas: a series of fertile debates within the social sciences
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    • 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.
  • 1.5 Physics (Of nuclear material) able to become fissile by the capture of neutrons.
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    • 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'.

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Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little