Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Zoology Reproducing freely by means of buds and side branches, as corals do.
  • adj. Botany Freely producing buds or offshoots, especially from unusual places, as shoots from flowers or fruits from fruits.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. producing many offspring; prolific or proliferative
  • adj. producing many buds or offshoots from leaves or flowers
  • adj. reproducing by budding

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Bearing offspring; -- applied to a flower from within which another is produced, or to a branch or frond from which another rises, or to a plant which is reproduced by buds or gemmæ.
  • adj.
  • adj. Producing young by budding.
  • adj. Producing sexual zooids by budding; -- said of the blastostyle of a hydroid.
  • adj. Producing a cluster of branchlets from a larger branch; -- said of corals.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bearing offspring.

Etymologies

From Medieval Latin prōlifer : Latin prōlēs, prōl-, offspring; see al-2 in Indo-European roots + Latin -fer, -fer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • In zoology, reproducing freely by means of buds and side branches, as corals do. In botany, freely producing buds or offshoots, especially from unusual places, such as shoots from flowers or fruits from fruits.

    November 19, 2007