adjective bar·ren \ˈber-ən, ˈba-rən\

: having very few plants : not suitable for plants

: not producing fruit or not able to produce fruit

of a woman or female animal : not able to produce children or offspring

Full Definition of BARREN

:  not reproducing: as
a :  incapable of producing offspring —used especially of females or matings
b :  not yet or not recently pregnant
c :  habitually failing to fruit
:  not productive: as
a :  producing little or no vegetation :  desolate <barren deserts>
b :  producing inferior crops <barren soil>
c :  unproductive of results or gain :  fruitless <a barren scheme>
:  devoid, lacking —used with of <barren of excitement>
:  lacking interest or charm <a barren routine>
:  lacking inspiration or ideas <a barren mind>
bar·ren·ly adverb
bar·ren·ness \-ə(n)-nəs\ noun

Examples of BARREN

  1. Few creatures can thrive on these barren mountaintops.
  2. The book was good, but I found the barren lives of the characters depressing.

Origin of BARREN

Middle English bareine, from Anglo-French barain, perhaps of Celtic origin; akin to Middle Welsh brynar fallow land
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of BARREN

bare, naked, nude, bald, barren mean deprived of naturally or conventionally appropriate covering. bare implies the removal of what is additional, superfluous, ornamental, or dispensable <an apartment with bare walls>. naked suggests absence of protective or ornamental covering but may imply a state of nature, of destitution, or of defenselessness <poor half-naked children>. nude applies especially to the unclothed human figure <a nude model posing for art students>. bald implies actual or seeming absence of natural covering and may suggest a conspicuous bareness <a bald mountain peak>. barren often suggests aridity or impoverishment or sterility <barren plains>.

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra

Rhymes with BARREN



Definition of BARREN

plural :  an extent of usually level land having an inferior growth of trees or little vegetation
:  a tract of barren land

Examples of BARREN

  1. <lived out in the barrens where it was impossible to grow anything>

First Known Use of BARREN


Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra
BARRENLY Defined for Kids


adjective bar·ren \ˈber-ən\

Definition of BARREN for Kids

:  unable to produce seed, fruit, or young <barren plants>
:  growing only poor or few plants <barren soil>
Medical Dictionary


adjective bar·ren \ˈbar-ən\

Medical Definition of BARREN

:  incapable of producing offspring—used especially of females or matings
bar·ren·ness \-ən-nəs\ noun


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