[ ster-il or, esp. British, -ahyl ]
/ ˈstɛr ɪl or, esp. British, -aɪl /
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.
CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?
Did you collect all of last week’s words, but eftsoons forget what they mean? Don’t worry, we’re here to jog your memory. See how many words from the week of May 18 to 24 you can get right!
Question 1 of 7
Origin of sterile
First recorded in 1545–55, sterile is from the Latin word sterilis unfruitful
OTHER WORDS FROM sterile
ster·ile·ly, adverbste·ril·i·ty [stuh-ril-i-tee] /stəˈrɪl ɪ ti/, ster·ile·ness, nounan·ti·ste·ril·i·ty, adjectivehalf-ster·ile, adjective
non·ster·ile, adjectivenon·ster·ile·ly, adverbnon·ste·ril·i·ty, nounun·ster·ile, adjective
Words nearby sterile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for sterilely
/ (ˈstɛraɪl) /
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
Derived forms of sterilesterilely, adverbsterility (stɛˈrɪlɪtɪ), noun
Word Origin for sterile
C16: from Latin sterilis
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 sterilely
[ stĕr′əl, -īl′ ]
Not producing or incapable of producing offspring.
Free from all live bacteria or other microorganisms and their spores.
Other words from sterilester′ile•ness null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for sterilely
[ stĕr′əl, stĕr′īl′ ]
Not able to produce offspring, seeds, or fruit; unable to reproduce.
Free from disease-causing microorganisms.
Other words from sterilesterility noun (stə-rĭl′ĭ-tē)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.