Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: BIRTH

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: sterilis

sterile

adjective
     
ster‧ile
1MB a person or animal that is sterile cannot produce babies [= infertile; ≠ fertile]
make/render/leave somebody sterile
Radiotherapy has left her permanently sterile.
2 completely clean and not containing any bacteria that might cause infection
sterile equipment/water/bandages etc
Rinse the eye with sterile water.
3 lacking new ideas, interest, or imagination
sterile argument/debate etc
the increasingly sterile debate on political reform
4 a sterile building, room etc is not interesting or attractive and is often very plain:
The classrooms are sterile, with no artwork on the walls.
5TA sterile land cannot be used to grow crops
sterility noun [uncountable]
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