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Audio English.org » Dictionary » S » Stereotyped ... Sticherus Flabellatus

STERILE

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does sterile mean? 

STERILE (adjective)
  The adjective STERILE has 3 senses:

1. incapable of reproducing
2. free of or using methods to keep free of pathological microorganisms
3. deficient in originality or creativity; lacking powers of invention

  Familiarity information: STERILE used as an adjective is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


STERILE (adjective)


Sense 1sterile [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Incapable of reproducing

Synonyms:

infertile; sterile; unfertile

Context example:

an infertile couple

Similar:

barren (not bearing offspring)

sterilised; sterilized (made infertile)

unfertilised; unfertilized; unimpregnated (not having been fertilized)

Also:

unfruitful (not fruitful; not conducive to abundant production)

impotent (lacking power or ability)

unproductive (not producing or capable of producing)

Attribute:

fecundity; fertility (the state of being fertile; capable of producing offspring)

Antonym:

fertile (capable of reproducing)


Sense 2sterile [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Free of or using methods to keep free of pathological microorganisms

Synonyms:

aseptic; sterile

Context examples:

a sterile operating area / aseptic surgical instruments / aseptic surgical techniques

Similar:

antiseptic (thoroughly clean and free of or destructive to disease-causing organisms)


Sense 3sterile [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Deficient in originality or creativity; lacking powers of invention

Synonyms:

unimaginative; uninventive; uninspired; sterile

Context examples:

a sterile ideology lacking in originality / unimaginative development of a musical theme / uninspired writing

Similar:

uncreative (not creative)


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