fertilizer

[fur-tl-ahy-zer]

noun

any substance used to fertilize the soil, especially a commercial or chemical manure.
a person, insect, etc., that fertilizes an animal or plant: Bees are fertilizers of flowers.

Nearby words

  1. fertility drug,
  2. fertility factor,
  3. fertility symbol,
  4. fertilization,
  5. fertilize,
  6. fertilizin,
  7. ferula,
  8. ferule,
  9. ferulic acid,
  10. ferv.

Origin of fertilizer

First recorded in 1655–65; fertilize + -er1

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

Examples from the Web for fertilizer


British Dictionary definitions for fertilizer

fertilizer

fertiliser

noun

any substance, such as manure or a mixture of nitrates, added to soil or water to increase its productivity
an object or organism such as an insect that fertilizes an animal or plant
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 fertilizer

fertilizer

n.

1660s, "a person who fertilizes," agent noun from fertilize. As a euphemism for "manure," from 1846.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for fertilizer

fertilizer

[fûrtl-ī′zər]

Any of a large number of natural and synthetic materials, including manure and compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, spread on or worked into soil to increase its capacity to support plant growth. Synthetic fertilizers can greatly increase the productivity of soil but have high energy costs, since fossil fuels are required as a source of hydrogen, which is necessary to fix nitrogen in ammonia.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.