Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Fructify

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The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is fructify. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Fructify means “to make fruitful or productive” or “to bear fruit or profit.”

// Her parents are in a comfortable financial position, thanks to some investments that have recently begun to fructify.

FRUCTIFY in Context

“After two seasons…. [Pamela] Adlon stepped up, hiring a writers’ room. And ‘Better Things’ kept going, fructifying into a closely observed and deeply felt portrait of one woman’s over-full life.” — Alexis Soloski, The New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022

Did You Know?

Fructify comes from Latin fructus, meaning “fruit.” When the word was first used in English, it literally referred to the actions of fruit-bearing plants. Later it was used to refer to the action of making something literally or figuratively fruitful, such as soil or labor, respectively. These days fructify is more frequently used to refer to the giving forth of something in profit from something else (such as dividends from an investment). Fructus also gave us the name of the sugar fructose, as well as usufruct, which refers to the legal right to enjoy the fruits or profits of something that belongs to someone else.

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