a person or animal that is sterile cannot produce babies [= infertile; ≠ fertile]
make/render/leave somebody sterile
Radiotherapy has left her permanently sterile.
completely clean and not containing any bacteria that might cause infection
sterile equipment/water/bandages etc
Rinse the eye with sterile water.
lacking new ideas, interest, or imagination
sterile argument/debate etc
the increasingly sterile debate on political reform
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.
sterile land cannot be used to grow crops
—sterility noun [uncountable]