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Fer"tile (? or ?; 277), a. [L. fertilis, fr. ferre to bear, produce: cf. F. fertile. See Bear to support.] 1. Producing fruit or vegetation in abundance; fruitful; able to produce abundantly; prolific; fecund; productive; rich; inventive; as, fertile land or fields; a fertile mind or imagination.
Though he in a fertile climate dwell. Shak.
2. (Bot.) (a) Capable of producing fruit; fruit-bearing; as, fertile flowers. (b) Containing pollen; -- said of anthers.
3. produced in abundance; plenteous; ample.
Henceforth, my early care . . . Milton.
Shall tend thee, and the fertile burden ease
Of thy full branches.
Syn. -- Fertile, Fruitful. Fertile implies the inherent power of production; fruitful, the act. The prairies of the West are fertile by nature, and are turned by cultivation into fruitful fields. The same distinction prevails when these words are used figuratively. A man of fertile genius has by nature great readiness of invention; one whose mind is fruitful has resources of thought and a readiness of application which enable him to think and act effectively.