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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — fructify

July 21, 2012

Word of the Day

  • fructify
  • audio pronunciation
  • \FRUK-tuh-fye\


: to bear fruit
: to make fruitful or productive

The company hopes that its new business partnerships will fructify in the coming months.

"The severe water crisis in Delhi is likely to continue as city government's efforts to get additional water from neighbouring Haryana to ease the worsening situation did not fructify." — From an article on, June 12, 2012


"Fructify" derives from Middle English "fructifien" and ultimately from the Latin noun "fructus," meaning "fruit." When the word was first used in English in the 14th century, it literally referred to the actions of plants that bore fruit; later it was used transitively to refer to the action of making something fruitful, such as soil. The word also expanded to encompass a figurative sense of "fruit," and it is now 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.

From Merriam-Webster Online at

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.