Ster"ile (?), a. [F. st'erile, L. sterilis, akin to Gr. stereo`s stiff, solid, stei^ros barren, stei^ra a cow that has not calved, Goth. stairo, fem., barren. See Stare to gaze.]


Producing little or no crop; barren; unfruitful; unproductive; not fertile; as, sterile land; a sterile desert; a sterile year.

2. Biol. (a)

Incapable of reproduction; unfitted for reproduction of offspring; not able to germinate or bear fruit; unfruitful; as, a sterile flower, which bears only stamens.


Free from reproductive spores or germs; as, a sterile fluid.


Fig.: Barren of ideas; destitute of sentiment; as, a sterile production or author.


© Webster 1913.

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