1. Producing offspring or fruit in great abundance; fertile: a prolific variety of grape.
2. Producing or characterized by abundant works or results: a prolific artist; a prolific period in a writer's life. See Synonyms at fertile.
[French prolifique, from Medieval Latin prōlificus : Latin prōlēs, prōl-, offspring; see al-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin -ficus, -fic.]
pro·lifi·ca·cy (-ĭ-kə-sē), pro·lific·ness (-ĭk-nĭs) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.