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

2. <biology> 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.

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

Origin: F. Sterile, L. Sterilis, akin to Gr. Stereos stiff, solid, stei^ros barren, stei^ra a cow that has not calved, Goth. Stairo, fem, barren. See Stare to gaze.

(01 Mar 1998)