sterile

See also: stérile

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

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

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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: [] 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.

SynonymsEdit

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GermanEdit

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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

InterlinguaEdit

AdjectiveEdit

sterile (not comparable)

  1. sterile

ItalianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin sterilis.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈstɛ.ri.le/
  • Rhymes: -ɛrile
  • Hyphenation: stè‧ri‧le

AdjectiveEdit

sterile (plural sterili)

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

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • sterile in Treccani.it – Vocabolario Treccani on line, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana

LatinEdit

AdjectiveEdit

sterile

  1. nominative/accusative/vocative neuter singular of sterilis

Norwegian BokmålEdit

AdjectiveEdit

sterile

  1. definite singular/plural of steril

Norwegian NynorskEdit

AdjectiveEdit

sterile

  1. definite singular/plural of steril