sterile

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See also: stérile

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French stérile, from Latin sterilis (barren, futile). See also Ancient Greek στεῖρα (steîra).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sterile (comparative more sterile, superlative most sterile)

  1. (not comparable) Unable to reproduce (or procreate).
    • 1658, Thomas Browne, “The Garden of Cyrus. []. Chapter V.”, in Hydriotaphia, Urne-buriall, [] Together with The Garden of Cyrus, [], London: Printed for Hen[ry] Brome [], OCLC 48702491; reprinted as Hydriotaphia (The English Replicas), New York, N.Y.: Payson & Clarke Ltd., 1927, OCLC 78413388, page 192:
      According to that Cabaliſticall Dogma: If Abram had not had this Letter [i.e., ה(he)] added unto his Name he had remained fruitleſſe, and without the power of generation: [] So that being ſterill before, he received the power of generation from that meaſure and manſion in the Archetype; and was made conformable unto Binah.
  2. (figuratively) Terse; lacking sentiment or emotional stimulation, as in a manner of speaking.
  3. (figuratively) Fruitless, uninspiring, or unproductive.
  4. Germless; free from all living or viable microorganisms.
    a sterile kitchen table
  5. Free from dangerous objects, as a zone in an airport that can be only be entered via a security checkpoint.
  6. (US, military) Of weapons: foreign-made and untraceable to the United States.
    • 1980, Russell Warren Howe, Weapons: The International Game of Arms, Money and Diplomacy
      An early CIA decision was to bring war surplus in Europe to the United States, rather than let it fall into the hands of left-wing movements. Some of the guns would also, it was reasoned, be useful as "sterile" weapons (foreign-made and untraceable to the United States) to be provided secretly to foreign friends.
    • 1990, Leroy Thompson, The US Army in Vietnam (page 111)
      In addition to this rapid supply system, the US Army Counterinsurgency Support Office on Okinawa helped procure special equipment including rucksacks, special rations for irregular troops, 'sterile' weapons which could not be traced to the USA and other items not procurable through foreign channels.

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Anagrams[edit]


German[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sterile

  1. inflection of steril:
    1. strong/mixed nominative/accusative feminine singular
    2. strong nominative/accusative plural
    3. weak nominative all-gender singular
    4. weak accusative feminine/neuter singular

Interlingua[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sterile (not comparable)

  1. sterile

Italian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sterile (masculine and feminine plural sterili)

  1. sterile, barren, unprolific, infertile
  2. sterile, sterilized (medicine)
  3. vain, pointless
  4. unproductive

Related terms[edit]


Latin[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sterile

  1. nominative neuter singular of sterilis
  2. accusative neuter singular of sterilis
  3. vocative neuter singular of sterilis

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sterile

  1. definite singular/plural of steril

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sterile

  1. definite singular/plural of steril