- free from living germs or microorganisms; aseptic: sterile surgical instruments.
- incapable of producing offspring; not producing offspring.
- barren; not producing vegetation: sterile soil.
- noting a plant in which reproductive structures fail to develop.
- bearing no stamens or pistils.
- not productive of results, ideas, etc.; fruitless.
Origin of sterile
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sterility
Six months of sterility results, after which normal fertility returns.Men, Ice Your Balls To Make Babies—and Other Male Fertility Fixes
December 22, 2014
At the CLWC, a reporter was told by an adviser that an abortion carried various risks, including “sterility”.UK Clinics: Abortion Leads To Sex Abuse And Cancer
February 11, 2014
They already understood, argued Hayden, “the sterility of liberals.”The Revolt Against the Masses and the Roots of Modern Liberalism
January 26, 2014
In adults, lead overload can lead to miscarriages and birth defects, as well as sterility.400 Kids Killed by Lead Poisoning
October 25, 2010
This woman had been married three or four years and consulted me on account of her sterility.The Female Sex-Pain Mystery
March 27, 2010
It matters not one whit whether this sterility is universal, or whether it exists only in a single case.
And is there, think you, no way of serving God but in the sterility of the cloister?The Strolling Saint
She went to him and asked him if he could cure her sterility.The Goat-gland Transplantation
Sydney B. Flower
Laws governing the Sterility of first Crosses and of Hybrids.On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
Here discuss what is a species, sterility can most rarely be told when crossed.The Foundations of the Origin of Species
- unable to produce offspring; infertile
- free from living, esp pathogenic, microorganisms; aseptic
- (of plants or their parts) not producing or bearing seeds, fruit, spores, stamens, or pistils
- lacking inspiration or vitality; fruitless
- economics, US (of gold) not being used to support credit creation or an increased money supply
Word Origin and History for sterility
early 15c., "barren" (implied in sterility), from Middle French stérile "not producing fruit," from Latin sterilis "barren, unproductive," from PIE *ster- "sterile, barren" originally "stiff, rigid" (cf. Greek steresthai "be deprived of," steira "sterile," stereos "firm, solid, stiff, hard;" Sanskrit starih "a barren cow;" Old Church Slavonic sterica "a barren cow;" Gothic stairo "barren;" Old Norse stirtla "a barren cow"). See torpor. Originally in English with reference to soil; of females, from 1530s. The sense of "sterilized" is first recorded 1877.
- Not producing or incapable of producing offspring.
- Free from all live bacteria or other microorganisms and their spores.
- Not able to produce offspring, seeds, or fruit; unable to reproduce.
- Free from disease-causing microorganisms.