Dictionary.com

barren

[ bar-uhn ]
/ ˈbær ən /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: barren / barrens / barrenness on Thesaurus.com

adjective
noun
Usually barrens. level or slightly rolling land, usually with a sandy soil and few trees, and relatively infertile.
QUIZ
CUDDLE UP! A COZY QUIZ ON FALL WORDS HAS ARRIVED
If autumn is your ideal season, spice up your repertoire of "fall" vocabulary with this quiz on some warm and vivid descriptive words for the season.
Question 1 of 10
Which of the following words means “to make a crackling sound; crackle”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of barren

1200–50; Middle English bareyn(e), barayn(e) <Anglo-French barai(gn)e,Old French brahaigne (French bréhaigne (of animals) sterile), akin to Spanish breña scrubby, uncultivated ground, Upper Italian barena land along a lagoon covered by high water; apparently <Celtic, compare Welsh braenar,Irish branar fallow land, but derivational details unclear

synonym study for barren

2. See bare1.

OTHER WORDS FROM barren

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH barren

barren , baron, baronet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use barren in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for barren

barren
/ (ˈbærən) /

adjective
incapable of producing offspring, seed, or fruit; sterilea barren tree
unable to support the growth of crops, etc; unproductive; barebarren land
lacking in stimulation or ideas; dulla rather barren play
not producing worthwhile results; unprofitablea barren period in a writer's life
(foll by of) totally lacking (in); devoid (of)his speech was barren of wit
(of rock strata) having no fossils

Derived forms of barren

barrenly, adverbbarrenness, noun

Word Origin for barren

C13: from Old French brahain, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for barren

barren
[ bărən ]

adj.
Not producing offspring.
Incapable of producing offspring.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
FEEDBACK