The Meaning of Prolific: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of prolific? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word prolific, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word prolific mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word prolific is an adjective that describes someone or something that is rich and fruitful by means of producing things in abundance with constant or successful results. Prolific is three syllables – pro-lif-ic, and the pronunciation of prolific is prəˈlɪf ɪ kə si. One related word is prolifically (adv.)

Many things can be prolific (prəˈlɪfɪk), including a prolific writer who produces a large number of works, a prolific goalscorer, prolific pear tree, prolific year that produced large quantities of offspring, prolific singers, a prolific period, a prolific artist, a prolific poet that produces abundant works, prolific temperate zones or tropics, a prolific scientist who studies quantum mechanics, a prolific professional blogger who has millions of posts over their entire professional career, prolific breeders that make a large number of babies, a prolific variety of grape that grows in great abundance, a prolific novelist, a prolific chicken farmer with many hens, a prolific playwright who produces many works in a writer’s life, a prolific composer of operas, a prolific writer of novels and short stories, a prolific scholar, a prolific brain, a prolific sports player and more. Someone might be so prolific at something that they get a Guinness World Record.

There are many other languages that contain words meaning prolific. You might notice that many of these words look and sound similarly to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that mean the same thing as well as look and sound similar across languages. This often happens when the two words or languages share a common Greek or Latin root or language of origin like Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word prolific is provided by Word Sense, but you could also find them in a Spanish Dictionary fifth edition, French electronic resource or German Dictionary unabridged 8th edition, amongst others.

  •  Portuguese: prolífico‎, frutífero‎ (masc.), fértil‎
  •  Turkish: doğurgan‎, velüt‎; bereketli‎, mahsûldar‎, verimli‎, münbit‎
  •  Finnish: hedelmällinen‎, satoisa‎ (of plants)
  •  French: fécond‎ (masc.), prolifique‎ (masc.) (f)
  •  Irish: bisiúil‎, torthúil‎
  •  Chinese – Mandarin: 高产的‎
  •  Russian: плодови́тый‎, плодоно́сный‎, урожа́йный‎, оби́льный‎ (crop)
  •  Roman: plodan, rodan, obilan (masc.)
  •  Cyrillic: плодан, родан, обилан (masc.)
  •  German: fruchtbar‎
  •  Dutch: vruchtbaar‎
  •  Danish: frugtbar‎
  •  Spanish: prolífico‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: plodonosan‎ (masc.)
  •  Catalan: prolífic‎
  •  Romanian: prolific‎
  •  Maori: hāwere‎

How can the word prolific be used in a sentence?

The word prolific (prəʊˈlɪfɪk) can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Below are a few examples of prolific. Try making flashcards, bookmarks, or a quiz to memorize this word’s definition and using this word of the day in a sentence today!

The females of many species including foxes were prolific during the spring and gave birth to young with great frequency.

The prolific tomato plant had abundant production for the Italian restaurant, and was nearly outgrowing the ficus. These young plants loved the soil. The gardner decided to register them for the county fair.

The gifts and facility of this prolific writer Murph Baggott were not formed by sheer talent, but by careful learning from his previous work. The implied idea was that he created numerous production drafts of the novel and had his friends tell him which to move forward with, a controversy uncovered by journalists at Princeton University.

What is the word origin of prolific?

According to Etymonline, the word prolific has been used since c17 and comes from the c16 French prolifique, Medieval Latin prolificus/Medieval Latin prōlificus, and Latin proles/Latin prōlēs combined with the Latin facere. This comes from Proto-Indo-European roots and is contracted from pro-oles. Related words include proliferation, proletarian, proles, prolicide, and more. One can affix the suffixes ness, cy, ty, and cal to the end of prolific.

What are synonyms and antonyms of prolific?

There are many different words and phrases that someone can use in place of the word prolific. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful English grammatical device to know. They are an easy way to build your vocabulary, and can help you avoid repeating yourself in conversation and written works. This list of synonyms for the word prolific is provided by Power Thesaurus as well as Roget’s Thesaurus 12th edition by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

  •  rank
  •  bequest
  •  innovatory
  •  innovative
  •  teeming
  •  multitudinous
  •  expressive
  •  great
  •  artistic
  •  advantageous
  •  quick-witted
  •  creative
  •  lavish
  •  ingenious
  •  flourishing
  •  superabundant
  •  powerful
  •  effusive
  •  filled
  •  resourceful
  •  inspired
  •  procreant
  •  expecting
  •  proliferous
  •  copious
  •  generous
  •  luxuriant
  •  overflowing
  •  spawning
  •  plentiful
  •  reproductive
  •  ample
  •  gifted
  •  enceinte
  •  lush
  •  exuberant
  •  smart
  •  bountiful
  •  prodigal
  •  plenteous
  •  experimental
  •  industrious
  •  unconventional
  •  rich
  •  profuse
  •  original
  •  breeding
  •  large
  •  unusual
  •  pregnant
  •  producive
  •  fat
  •  inventive
  •  replete
  •  productive
  •  innovational
  •  reproducing
  •  vigorous
  •  riotous
  •  opulent
  •  fertile
  •  energetic
  •  rife
  •  clever
  •  generative
  •  thriving
  •  talented
  •  originative
  •  parturient
  •  uberous
  •  extravagant
  •  producing
  •  dense
  •  unorthodox
  •  visionary
  •  bounteous
  •  fulsome
  •  rampant
  •  gravid
  •  big
  •  generating
  •  abundant
  •  galore
  •  liberal
  •  fructiferous
  •  parous
  •  fecund
  •  constructive
  •  abounding
  •  propagating
  •  imaginative
  •  affluent
  •  bursting
  •  fructuous
  •  fruitful
  •  thick
  •  conceptive
  •  in family way
  •  bumper
  •  profitable
  •  considerable

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite definition as the word digress. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are also useful to know if you are working on expanding your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word digress is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  impoverished
  •  be sterile
  •  relatively few
  •  disfavored
  •  abridge
  •  broke
  •  inefficient
  •  ungenerous
  •  impecunious
  •  cleared
  •  sparse
  •  bony
  •  digest
  •  poor
  •  barren
  •  in dire straits
  •  scarce
  •  unfruitful
  •  fruitless
  •  inadequate
  •  baneful
  •  desert
  •  indigent
  •  hand-to-mouth
  •  submarginal
  •  impotent
  •  insolvent
  •  meager
  •  jejune
  •  destitute
  •  dead
  •  in vain
  •  desolate
  •  unproductive
  •  at a premium
  •  abortive
  •  firing blanks
  •  insufficient
  •  deplorable
  •  penniless
  •  like gold dust
  •  acarpous
  •  beaten
  •  scanty
  •  bad
  •  destructive
  •  infertile
  •  childless
  •  hindered

Overall, the word prolific means producing things in abundance. This word is Latin in origin.


  1. prolific | Origin and meaning of prolific | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. Prolific definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  3. Prolific synonyms – 519 Words and Phrases for Prolific | Power Thesaurus  
  4. Prolific antonyms – 103 Opposites of Prolific | Power Thesaurus 
  5. prolific: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense