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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a chemical fertilizer (=chemicals to help plants grow)
▪ Many crops are grown with chemical fertilizers.
▪ Paradoxically the ecological problems deriving from the application of artificial fertilizers are often equally complex and extensive.
▪ Controversy has also surrounded the long-term effects of artificial fertilizer on the soil structure.
▪ All the soil does is hold the plants upright, while the crop is fed with artificial fertilizers.
▪ They have thus become the animal equivalents of the plants which are force-fed with artificial fertilizers and sprayed with herbicides and pesticides.
▪ The largest industrial concerns were electronics, computer assembly, artificial fertilizers, machinery, metalworking and textiles.
▪ Without earthworms and other soil life, no amount of cultivations and chemical fertilizers will build and sustain true structure and fertility.
▪ The other was an agricultural revolution based on chemical fertilizers, irrigation, and improved seed strains that dramatically expanded food supplies.
▪ It's based on chemical fertilizer, I've bags of the stuff.
▪ Another useful salt is plain old chemical fertilizer.
▪ The long-term dangers of land degradation from irrigation and chemical fertilizers are growing.
▪ The colonial world can be hit by a shortage in chemical fertilizers.
▪ I suppose such things were happy on our land because we never put chemical fertilizers on it.
▪ Phosphorus is a nutrient used in fertilizer that helps plants grow.
▪ The Azollablue-green alga combination fixes atmospheric nitrogen and is widely used as fertilizer and as forage.
▪ And the smell of excrement, used as fertilizer, permeated the air.
▪ When I do fertilize the plants you mention, I use a high-phosphorus fertilizer.
▪ In addition to improving soil conditions and nutrients with organic matter, use organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion or liquefied seaweed.
spread seeds/manure/fertilizer
Fertilizer encourages weeds as well as crops to grow, so the increasing use of fertilizer promotes the increasing use of selective herbicides.
▪ Agriculturally, they had the structures necessary to mine fertilizers and annually spread them on their fields.
▪ An application of a balanced fertilizer once a month generally is adequate, but some gardeners apply diluted applications more often.
▪ I would apply a balanced fertilizer periodically.
▪ Others say that exporting fertilizers and pesticides to developing countries will help them increase their production.
▪ Outside every field you find a home-made latrine, waiting for passing cyclists to contribute valuable fertilizer.
▪ Phosphorus is a nutrient used in fertilizer that helps plants grow.
▪ There was greater specialization and more effective use was made of fertilizer.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Fertilizer \Fer"ti*lizer\, n.

  1. One who fertilizes; the agent that carries the fertilizing principle, as a moth to an orchid.
    --A. R. Wallace.

  2. That which renders fertile; a general name for commercial substances which make plants grow better, as manure, guano, phosphate of lime, ammonium nitrate, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1660s, "something that fertilizes (land)," agent noun from fertilize. As a euphemism for "manure," from 1846.


alt. 1 A natural substance that is used to make the ground more suitable for growing plants. 2 A chemical compound created to have the same effect. n. 1 A natural substance that is used to make the ground more suitable for growing plants. 2 A chemical compound created to have the same effect.


n. any substance such as manure or a mixture of nitrates used to make soil more fertile [syn: fertiliser, plant food]


A fertilizer (American English) or fertiliser (British English) is any material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is applied to soils or to plant tissues (usually leaves) to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.

Usage examples of "fertilizer".

The fourteen waste treatment plants in New York City produced more than a thousand tons of biosolids a day and sold it throughout the country as fertilizer.

New York City produced more than a thousand tons of biosolids a day and sold it throughout the country as fertilizer.

They have confessed to loading that van with a mix of fertilizer and gasoline and parking it 0 DID near the Brandenburg Gate.

The reason I prefer to use a portion of the cabbage food in the form of manure, is, that I have noticed that when the attempt is made to raise the larger drumhead varieties on fertilizers only, the cabbages, just as the heads are well formed, are apt to come nearly to a standstill.

It was pushed through the hidden gate in the wall and into the thick screen of forest that separated the compound from the fields and the stench-ridden composting area, where bodies were recycled into fertilizer.

Take the cremationist Sir Henry Thompson, who sat down and calculated the value in pounds sterling of the 80,000-odd people who died each year in London, should their cremated remains be used as fertilizer.

Several varieties of lakeweed had thrived on the chemical fertilizers Dokken had added to bring the lake into organic equilibrium for the fish.

In 1956, peasants digging for fertilizer in a cave near Maba, in Guangdong province, southern China, found a skull that was apparently from a primitive human being.

Gradually, though, overfishing and fertilizer runoff had reduced their numbers.

By this the scene had been complicated by the arrival of several market gardeners from the Via Recta, armed with shovels and barrows, and determined to appropriate what was known to be the best fertilizer in the world.

Some biologists believe additional harm came from fertilizers and pesticides which flushed through the Everglades into the bay.

Using chemical nitrogen fertilizers makes plants grow fast, but it does not always give them the strength or range of nutrients they need to resist insect attacks.

The best way to return nutrients to the soil is to add organic matter through compost, mulch, organic fertilizers and cover crops.

Earthworms cannot tolerate chemical fertilizers and are killed by pesticides including slug and snail poison.

Some organic fertilizers consist of plant meal, hoof and horn meal or bonemeal.