Simple Definition of sterile
: 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
1a : failing to bear or incapable of producing fruit or sporesb : 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
2a : 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>
Examples of sterile
a sterile dressing for a wound
<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
Medical Definition of sterile
Learn More about sterile
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "sterile" Medical Dictionary: Definition of "sterile" Spanish Central: Translation of "sterile" Nglish: Translation of "sterile" for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of "sterile" for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "sterile"
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