in·​fer·​tile | \ (ˈ)in-ˈfər-tᵊl How to pronounce infertile (audio) \

Definition of infertile

: not fertile or productive infertile eggs infertile fields especially : incapable of or unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy infertile couples

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Other Words from infertile

infertility \ ˌin-​(ˌ)fər-​ˈti-​lə-​tē How to pronounce infertile (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for infertile



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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 As many as 70 percent of koalas might be infected, and 90 percent of those animals are infertile. Gloria Dickie, Scientific American, "Struggling Koalas Get Help from a Bold Breeding Program," 2 Mar. 2021 About 20 percent of those eggs don’t hatch or are infertile. René A. Guzman,, "Yep, San Antonio gets its share of wild alligators. On guard, Fluffy!," 26 Jan. 2021 What is the one-term for the process by which fertile land becomes infertile desert land -- and that can be caused by drought, deforestation, or poor farmland management? CNN, "CNN 10 - December 18, 2020," 18 Dec. 2020 Of that population, those farthest north were found to have mated earlier than southern herds, a shift that could result in calves being born on infertile land before their mothers could reach areas with abundant vegetation. Sunset Magazine, "Wildlife Are Evolving to Survive a Rapidly Warming Arctic—but Can They Adapt Fast Enough?," 16 Nov. 2020 The actual numbers of infertile Black women remain unclear because so few women of color have been included in infertility research and studies. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, "For Black women, the isolation of infertility is compounded by barriers to treatment," 14 Oct. 2020 But many Black women simply don’t get referrals to specialists or are told erroneously by their gynecologists that Black women can’t be infertile. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, "For Black women, the isolation of infertility is compounded by barriers to treatment," 14 Oct. 2020 At 40, 95 percent of women are infertile, according to Silber. Popular Science, "Most Americans can’t afford fertility treatments anymore—so they’re going abroad," 24 Aug. 2020 Skating usually works best in the infertile currents of medium- to fast-moving freestone streams. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, "Skate, Skitter, and Twitch Dry Flies for Trout," 26 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infertile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of infertile

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for infertile

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

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Time Traveler for infertile

Time Traveler

The first known use of infertile was in 1597

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Statistics for infertile

Last Updated

7 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Infertile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for infertile



English Language Learners Definition of infertile

: not able to reproduce : not able to produce children, young animals, etc.
: not suited for raising crops : unable to support the growth of plants


in·​fer·​tile | \ in-ˈfər-tᵊl How to pronounce infertile (audio) \

Kids Definition of infertile

: not fertile infertile soil


in·​fer·​tile | \ (ˈ)in-ˈfərt-ᵊl How to pronounce infertile (audio) \

Medical Definition of infertile

: 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

Other Words from infertile

infertility \ ˌin-​(ˌ)fər-​ˈtil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce infertile (audio) \ noun, plural infertilities

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