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See more synonyms for unfruitful on Thesaurus.com
  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 for unfruitful

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unfruitful

fruitless, impotent, infertile, sterile, unproductive, nonproductive, unsuccessful, arid, barren, effete, useless, wasted, acarpous, infecund, unrewarding

Examples from the Web for unfruitful

Historical Examples of unfruitful

  • 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


  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


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