fertile

[fur-tl or, esp. British, -tahyl]

adjective


Nearby words

  1. ferry,
  2. ferry bridge,
  3. ferryboat,
  4. ferryman,
  5. fertigate,
  6. fertile crescent,
  7. fertile period,
  8. fertilely,
  9. fertilisation,
  10. fertility

Origin of fertile

1425–75; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin fertilis fruitful, akin to ferre to bear1; see -ile

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fertile


British Dictionary definitions for fertile

fertile

adjective

capable of producing offspring
  1. (of land) having nutrients capable of sustaining an abundant growth of plants
  2. (of farm animals) capable of breeding stock
biology
  1. capable of undergoing growth and developmentfertile seeds; fertile eggs
  2. (of plants) capable of producing gametes, spores, seeds, or fruits
producing many offspring; prolific
highly productive; rich; abundanta fertile brain
physics (of a substance) able to be transformed into fissile or fissionable material, esp in a nuclear reactor
conducive to productivenessfertile rain
Derived Formsfertilely, adverbfertileness, noun

Word Origin for fertile

C15: from Latin fertilis, from ferre to bear

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fertile

fertile

adj.

mid-15c., from Middle French fertil and directly from Latin fertilis "bearing in abundance, fruitful, productive," from ferre "to bear" (see infer). Fertile Crescent (1914) was coined by U.S. archaeologist James H. Breasted (1865-1935).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for fertile

fertile

[fûrtl]

adj.

Capable of conceiving and bearing young.
Fertilized. Used of an ovum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for fertile

fertile

[fûrtl]

Capable of producing offspring, seeds, or fruit.
Capable of developing into a complete organism; fertilized.
Capable of supporting plant life; favorable to the growth of crops and plants.
Related formsfertility noun

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.