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[pruh-lif-ik] /prəˈlɪf ɪk/
producing offspring, young, fruit, etc., abundantly; highly fruitful:
a prolific pear tree.
producing in large quantities or with great frequency; highly productive:
a prolific writer.
profusely productive or fruitful (often followed by in or of):
a bequest prolific of litigations.
characterized by abundant production:
a prolific year for tomatoes.
Origin of prolific
1640-50; < Medieval Latin prōlificus fertile. See prolicide, -fic
Related forms
[pruh-lif-i-kuh-see] /prəˈlɪf ɪ kə si/ (Show IPA),
[proh-luh-fis-i-tee] /ˌproʊ ləˈfɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
prolificness, noun
prolifically, adverb
nonprolific, adjective
nonprolificness, noun
nonprolificacy, noun
nonprolifically, adverb
overprolific, adjective
overprolificness, noun
overprolifically, adverb
unprolific, adjective
unprolificness, noun
unprolifically, adverb
1, 2. teeming, fecund, abundant. See productive.
1. barren. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for prolifically
  • And she composed prolifically, often drawn to social, historical and religious themes.
  • The four sidemen also recorded prolifically on their own, extending the quintet's influence.
  • The beauty of the environment helped restore him immediately, and he began to paint prolifically during this period.
  • Both rabbits and hares have short tails and breed prolifically.
  • All three grow taller than almost all other herbaceous plants, spread prolifically, and can quickly dominate large areas.
  • It is a water mold which prolifically produces spores in humid and moist environments.
  • But its mischief can't be ignored either, particularly since it breeds prolifically.
  • Open-grown exotic bush honeysuckles fruit prolifically and are highly attractive to birds.
  • The crayfish reproduces prolifically and can move overland, increasing its chances of spreading on its own.
  • Seed is spread prolifically by birds and may overrun unmanaged areas, especially saline sites.
British Dictionary definitions for prolifically


producing fruit, offspring, etc, in abundance
producing constant or successful results
often foll by in or of. rich or fruitful
Derived Forms
prolifically, adverb
prolificness, prolificacy, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin prōlificus, from Latin prōlēs offspring
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 prolifically



1640s, from French prolifique (16c.), from Medieval Latin prolificus, from Latin proles "offspring" + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Latin proles is contracted from *pro-oles, from PIE *pro-al-, from *pro- "forth" (see pro-) + *al- "to grow, nourish" (see old). Related: Prolifical (c.1600).

Prolific is in common use, but to make a satisfactory noun from it has passed the wit of man. [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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