sterile

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

ster·ile / ˈsterəl/ • adj. 1. not able to produce children or young: the disease had made him sterile. ∎  (of a plant) not able to produce fruit or seeds. ∎  (of land or soil) too poor in quality to produce crops. ∎  lacking in imagination, creativity, or excitement; uninspiring or unproductive: he found the fraternity's teachings sterile. 2. free from bacteria or other living microorganisms; totally clean: a sterile needle and syringes. DERIVATIVES: ster·ile·ly / ˈsterə(l)lē/ adv. ste·ril·i·ty / stəˈrilitē/ n. ORIGIN: late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin sterilis; related to Greek steira ‘barren cow.’ Sense 2 dates from the late 19th cent.

views updated

sterileaisle, Argyle, awhile, beguile, bile, Carlisle, Carlyle, compile, De Stijl, ensile, file, guile, I'll, interfile, isle, Kabyle, kyle, lisle, Lyle, Mikhail, mile, Nile, pile, rank-and-file, resile, rile, Ryle, Sieg Heil, smile, spile, stile, style, tile, vile, Weil, while, wile, worthwhile •labile, stabile •immobile, mobile •nubile • aedile • crocodile • cinephile •profile • audiophile • bibliophile •Francophile • Anglophile •technophile • necrophile •Russophile •paedophile (US pedophile) •agile, fragile •chamomile •penile, senile •juvenile • stockpile • isopropyl •woodpile • sterile • febrile • virile •puerile • facile • decile • flexile •extensile, prehensile, tensile •fissile, missile •domicile • docile • reconcile

views updated

sterile
1. (of organisms) Unable to produce offspring. See also hybrid; incompatibility; self-sterility; sterilization.

2. (of objects, food, etc.) Free from contaminating microorganisms. See sterilization.

views updated

sterile unproductive, barren. XVI. — (O)F. stérile or L. sterilis, f. lE. *ster-, repr. also by Skr. start-, Gr. steîra barren cow, Goth. stairō fem. barren; see -ILE.
Hence or — (O)F. stériliser sterilize XVII. So sterility XV. — (O)F. or L.

views updated

sterile
1. Of an organism, unable to produce reproductive structures (i.e. unable to reproduce).

2. Of land, unable to support the growth of plants, especially cultivated crops.

3. Of an environment, object, or substance, completely free of all living organisms, including all micro-organisms of any type or form.

views updated

sterile
1. Of an organism, unable to produce reproductive structures (i.e. unable to reproduce).

2. Of land, unable to support the growth of plants, especially cultivated crops.

3. Of an environment, object, or substance, completely free of all living organisms, including all micro-organisms of any type or form.

views updated

sterile
1. Of an organism, unable to produce reproductive structures, i.e. unable to reproduce
.
2. Of land, unable to support the growth of plants, especially cultivated crops
.
3. Of an environment, object, or substance, completely free of all living organisms, including all microorganisms of any type or form.

views updated

sterile (ste-ryl) adj.
1. (of a living organism) barren; unable to reproduce its kind (see sterility).

2. (of inanimate objects) completely free from microorganisms that could cause infection.

views updated

sterile Free from all micro‐organisms, bacteria, moulds, and yeasts. When foods are sterilized, as in canning, they are preserved indefinitely, since they are protected from recontamination in the can, and also from enzymic deterioration.