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sterile

play
adjective ster·ile \ˈster-əl, chiefly British -ˌī(-ə)l\

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

  1. 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

  2. 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>

ster·ile·ly play \-ə(l)-lē\ adverb
ste·ril·i·ty play \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

Rhymes with sterile


Medical Dictionary

sterile

play play
adjective ster·ile \ˈster-əl, chiefly British -ˌīl\

Medical Definition of sterile

  1. 1:  failing to produce or incapable of producing offspring <a sterile hybrid>—compare infertile

  2. 2:  free from living organisms and especially microorganisms <a sterile syringe> <a sterile cyst>

  3. ster·ile·ly \-əl-(l)ē\play adverb
    ste·ril·i·ty \stə-ˈril-ət-ē\play noun, plural ste·ril·i·ties





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