barren

[ bar-uhn ]
/ ˈbær ən /

adjective

noun

Usually barrens. level or slightly rolling land, usually with a sandy soil and few trees, and relatively infertile.

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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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for barren

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.