infertile

adjective

in·​fer·​tile (ˈ)in-ˈfər-tᵊl How to pronounce infertile (audio)
: not fertile or productive
infertile eggs
infertile fields
especially : incapable of or unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy
infertile couples
infertility noun

Examples of infertile in a Sentence

an infertile cow is of limited use to a farmer only parched, infertile fields remained after months of drought
Recent Examples on the Web According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five women are infertile in the U.S.–and the problem has gotten worse. Sunny Nagpaul, Fortune, 15 Mar. 2024 Over the past 20 years, Astudillo’s father has experimented with growing trees in the infertile, saline soils. Julia Shipley, WIRED, 13 Jan. 2024 It may also have been born infertile and susceptible to a host of canine diseases, such as parvovirus, distemper, and brucellosis. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 18 Oct. 2023 For instance, patients who need cancer surgeries that could leave them infertile have faced denials. Maya Miller, ProPublica, 16 Nov. 2023 Male mice injected with the drug quickly and temporarily became infertile, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal Nature. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023 Since 2022, the shark has laid eggs monthly that were thought to be infertile, according to the zoo. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 Another study showed that Tribulus improved semen quality in infertile men. Jon Goodwin, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2022 The study found that exposing male frogs to the chemical turned 75% infertile, but turned one-tenth of them into female frogs. Misty Severi, Washington Examiner, 13 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'infertile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French, from Late Latin infertilis, from Latin in- + fertilis fertile

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of infertile was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near infertile

Cite this Entry

“Infertile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infertile. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

infertile

adjective
in·​fer·​tile (ˈ)in-ˈfərt-ᵊl How to pronounce infertile (audio)
: not fertile or productive : barren
infertility noun

Medical Definition

infertile

adjective
in·​fer·​tile (ˈ)in-ˈfərt-ᵊl How to pronounce infertile (audio)
: not fertile
especially : incapable of or unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy over a considerable period of time (as a year) in spite of determined attempts by heterosexual intercourse without contraception
infertile couples
an infertile male with a low sperm count
an infertile female with blocked fallopian tubes
compare sterile sense 1
infertility noun
plural infertilities

More from Merriam-Webster on infertile

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