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[fer-til-i-tee] /fərˈtɪl ɪ ti/
the state or quality of being fertile.
Biology. the ability to produce offspring; power of reproduction:
the amazing fertility of rabbits.
the birthrate of a population.
(of soil) the capacity to supply nutrients in proper amounts for plant growth when other factors are favorable.
Origin of fertility
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English fertilite (< Middle French) < Latin fertilitās. See fertile, -ity
Related forms
nonfertility, noun
overfertility, noun
prefertility, noun
unfertility, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fertility
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Association of ideas is a nursing mother to the fertility of authorship.

  • He has such huge energy at the back of his fertility of invention.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • (b) That this Beow was an ancient "god of agriculture and fertility."

    Beowulf R. W. Chambers
  • This resourcefulness and fertility of method are conspicuous characteristics of him.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • The face of the land looks like spring, so wonderfully does the rain operate to give beauty and fertility to the earth.

    Letters from Palestine J. D. Paxton
British Dictionary definitions for fertility


the ability to produce offspring, esp abundantly
the state or quality of being fertile
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
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Word Origin and History for fertility

early 15c., from Middle French fertilité, from Latin fertilitatem (nominative fertilitas) "fruitfulness, fertility," from fertilis (see fertile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fertility in Medicine

fertility fer·til·i·ty (fər-tĭl'ĭ-tē)
The state of being fertile, especially the ability to produce young.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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fertility in Science
  1. Capable of producing offspring, seeds, or fruit.

  2. Capable of developing into a complete organism; fertilized.

  3. Capable of supporting plant life; favorable to the growth of crops and plants.

fertility noun
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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