American English

Definition of sterile adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(of humans or animals) not able to produce children or young animals synonym infertile compare fertile
  2. 2completely clean and free from bacteria sterile bandages sterile water
  3. 3(of a discussion, an argument, etc.) not producing any useful result synonym fruitless a sterile debate
  4. 4lacking individual personality, imagination, or new ideas The room felt cold and sterile. He felt creatively and emotionally sterile.
  5. 5(of land) not good enough to produce crops
noun [uncountable] The disease can cause sterility in men and women. the meaningless sterility of statistics She contemplated the sterility of her existence.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sterile