Definitions

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

  • adj. Producing offspring or fruit in great abundance; fertile.
  • adj. Producing abundant works or results: a prolific artist. See Synonyms at fertile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fertile, producing offspring or fruit in abundance — applied to plants producing fruit, animals producing young, etc.
  • adj. Similarly producing results or works in abundance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the quality of generating; producing young or fruit; generative; fruitful; productive; -- applied to plants producing fruit, animals producing young, etc.; -- usually with the implied idea of frequent or numerous production.
  • adj. Serving to produce; fruitful of results; active
  • adj. Proliferous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Producing young or fruit, especially in abundance; fruitful; fertile; productive in general: as, a prolific female; a prolific tree; prolific seed.
  • Serving to give rise or origin; having the quality of generating: as, a controversy prolific of evil consequences; a prolific brain.
  • Same as proliferous .

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. intellectually productive
  • adj. bearing in abundance especially offspring

Etymologies

French prolifique, from Medieval Latin prōlificus : Latin prōlēs, prōl-, offspring; see al-2 in Indo-European roots + Latin -ficus, -fic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1640-1650: from French prolifique, from Latin proles ("offspring") and facere ("to make"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word "prolific" may well have been invented to describe Robert Pollard, who I must guess is sick to death of people telling him about his POTENTIAL if he would just FOCUS HIMSELF and CHANNEL HIS ENERGY.

    Boing Boing

  • The CBS News program "48 Hours" in 1993 devoted an hourlong program, "See You in Court; Civil War, Anthony Martin Clogs Legal System with Frivolous Lawsuits," to what it called his prolific filings.

    Andrea Harner

  • Neil Young -- One more transplanted Canadian -- Dylan's rival in prolific songwriting, but more about him in Year of the Horse, yet to come.

    View from the Northern Border

  • He studied mathematics and physics under Santucci and became known as a prolific writer on mathematical and historical subjects.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • He is known as a prolific fundraiser and has devoted considerable energy to filling his campaign coffers.

    The Seattle Times

  • Now the word prolific just doesn't quite seem to cut it, but prolific he is.

    The Line Of Best Fit

  • STL Hops: I went to a store the other day and someone commented that the writing here at MBR was "prolific" - I wish we could be half as prolific as STL Hops.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • Schmidt has been making electronic music since the late 80s, and is the very definition of "prolific" - he has produced around 70 (yes, seventy) albums under various names, such as Erik Satin, Midisport, Flanger, LB, Lisa Carbon Trio, Lassigue Bendthaus and Senor Coconut (one of my favorite projects of his, where he reworks Kraftwerk songs as played by a latin/samba band - amazing!).

    My Brain is Fried (Music (For Robots))

  • Besides the fact that this ad campaign is just plain misleading, it irks me to no end that the marketing team for Hollywood Pictures thinks they'll attract audiences by calling a serial killer "prolific" -- like, you know, Stephen King's prolific, or Rachael Ray.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Nissa, I am greatly honored by the award, but I hardly I think I deserve to be called a prolific blogger these days.

    2010 Lenten Read-a-Thon

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