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[fur-tl-ahy-zer] /ˈfɜr tlˌaɪ zər/

any substance used to the soil, especially a commercial or chemical manure.
a person, insect, etc., that an animal or plant:
Bees are fertilizers of flowers.
any substance, such as manure or a mixture of nitrates, added to soil or water to increase its productivity
an object or organism such as an insect that fertilizes an animal or plant

1660s, “a person who fertilizes,” agent noun from fertilize. As a euphemism for “manure,” from 1846.
Any of a large number of natural and synthetic materials, including manure and compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, spread on or worked into soil to increase its capacity to support plant growth. Synthetic fertilizers can greatly increase the productivity of soil but have high energy costs, since fossil fuels are required as a source of hydrogen, which is necessary to fix nitrogen in ammonia.


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