Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “barren”


adjective     /ˈbær.ən/
unable to produce plants or fruit: We drove through a barren, rocky landscape.Fertile or infertile landPlant reproduction formal unable to have children or young animalsAnimal reproduction not creating or producing anything new: She became very depressed during the barren years when she was unable to paint. → Compare fertileUnsuccessful (people and things) barrenness     /-nəs/ noun [U] Empty
(Definition of barren adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of barren

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Plant reproduction, but you might be interested in these topics from the Plant anatomy topic area:

Definitions of “barren” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a situation in which two people are friends

Word of the Day


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