Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sterile”

See all translations

sterile

adjective uk   /ˈster.aɪl/ us    /-əl/

sterile adjective (UNABLE TO PRODUCE)

(of a living being) unable to produce young, or (of land) unable to produce plants or crops: Mules are usually sterile. One of the side effects of the drug could be to make men sterile. having no imagination, new ideas, or energy: a sterile argument

sterile adjective (CLEAN)

completely clean and free from dirt and bacteria: The operation must be carried out under sterile conditions.
(Definition of sterile from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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

punt

a long, narrow boat with a flat bottom and a square area at each end, moved by a person standing on one of the square areas and pushing a long pole against the bottom of the river

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More