Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sterile”

sterile

adjective [not gradable]  /ˈster·əl/ us  

sterile adjective [not gradable] (UNABLE TO PRODUCE)

(of a person or animal) unable to produce young, or of land unable to produce plants or crops: It was a small oasis surrounded by sterile desert.

sterile adjective [not gradable] (WITHOUT BACTERIA)

free from bacteria: Medical equipment must be kept sterile.

sterile adjective [not gradable] (LACKING)

lacking in imagination, ideas, or enthusiasm: Suburban housing developments are often sterile environments.
(Definition of sterile from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sterile?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sterile” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pint

a measure for liquid equal to about half a litre

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More