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unfruitful

[uhn-froot-fuh l]
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adjective
  1. not providing satisfaction; unprofitable: unfruitful efforts.
  2. not producing offspring; sterile: an unfruitful marriage.
  3. not yielding good crops; infertile: unfruitful acres.
  4. not bearing fruit; fruitless; barren: an unfruitful tree.
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Origin of unfruitful

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at un-1, fruitful
Related formsun·fruit·ful·ly, adverbun·fruit·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. fruitless, unproductive, vain, unrewarding.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unfruitful

Historical Examples

  • The works of darkness are unfruitful because they are transient.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren

  • And they are unfruitful because, whilst they last, they yield no real satisfaction.

  • Futile for a time were the parental arguments, unfruitful every effort!

  • He has not cast out the unfruitful, but has tenderly spared them.

  • I coughed and made other noises, with like unfruitful result.


British Dictionary definitions for unfruitful

unfruitful

adjective
  1. barren, unproductive, or unprofitable
  2. failing to produce or develop into fruit
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Derived Formsunfruitfully, adverbunfruitfulness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for unfruitful

adj.

late 14c., "barren," from un- (1) "not" + fruitful. Originally literal; figurative sense is attested from c.1400. Related: Unfruitfully; unfruitfulness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper