sterile

3 ENTRIES FOUND:

ster·ile

adjective \ˈster-əl, chiefly British -ˌī(-ə)l\

: not able to produce crops or plants

: not able to produce children, young animals, etc.

: not able to grow or develop

Full Definition of STERILE

1
a :  failing to bear or incapable of producing fruit or spores
b :  failing to produce or incapable of producing offspring <a sterile hybrid>
c :  incapable of germinating <sterile spores>
d of a flower :  neither perfect nor pistillate
2
a :  unproductive of vegetation <a sterile arid region>
b :  free from living organisms and especially microorganisms <a sterile syringe>
c :  lacking in stimulating emotional or intellectual quality :  lifeless <a sterile work of art>
ster·ile·ly \-ə(l)-lē\ adverb
ste·ril·i·ty \stə-ˈri-lə-tē\ noun

Examples of STERILE

  1. a sterile dressing for a wound
  2. <sterile couples sometimes choose to adopt needy children>

Origin of STERILE

Middle English steryle, from Latin sterilis; akin to Gothic stairo barren animal, Sanskrit starī sterile cow
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Microbiology Terms

pathogen, salmonella, tetanus

Rhymes with STERILE

ster·ile

adjective \ˈster-əl, chiefly British -ˌīl\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of STERILE

1
: failing to produce or incapable of producing offspring <a sterile hybrid>—compare infertile
2
: free from living organisms and especially microorganisms <a sterile syringe> <a sterile cyst>
ster·ile·ly \-əl-(l)ē\ adverb
ste·ril·i·ty \stə-ˈril-ət-ē\ noun, plural ste·ril·i·ties

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: sterilizability
Previous Word in the Dictionary: sterilant
All Words Near: sterile

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up sterile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More