synonyms
  • definitions

sterile

[ ster-il or, esp. British, -ahyl ]SEE DEFINITION OF sterile

Synonyms for sterile

  • antiseptic
  • arid
  • barren
  • bleak
  • desolate
  • futile
  • hygienic
  • impotent
  • infertile
  • aseptic
  • bare
  • dead
  • decontaminated
  • desert
  • disinfected
  • dry
  • effete
  • empty
  • fallow
  • fruitless
  • gaunt
  • germ-free
  • infecund
  • pasteurized
  • sanitary
  • septic
  • sterilized
  • unfruitful
  • uninfected
  • unprofitable
  • unprolific
  • vain
  • waste
  • without issue
MOST RELEVANT

Antonyms for sterile

  • cheerful
  • contaminated
  • fertile
  • fruitful
  • potent
  • productive
  • profitable
  • unclean
  • unsanitary
  • unsterile
  • dirty
MOST RELEVANT
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR STERILE

It occasionally happens that the gills are sterile and remain white.

My hands were shaking as I took a sterile slide and pricked my finger.

But a volcanic eruption is sterile, the ruin of the fertile ground.

His blood flows through him, a muddy stream of sterile water.

In a few cases a sterile variety is described as the male and a fertile as the female.

His small farm was sterile, and yielded grudgingly its annual crops.

For example, though all our Finches can breed together, the hybrids are all sterile.

Berlin is situated in a sandy, sterile country; so to say, in a desert.

There was about an acre of land, rocky and sterile, attached to it.

And yet, thought the son, what an empty, sterile life it had been after all.

WORD ORIGIN

early 15c., "barren" (implied in sterility), from Middle French stérile "not producing fruit," from Latin sterilis "barren, unproductive," from PIE *ster- "sterile, barren" originally "stiff, rigid" (cf. Greek steresthai "be deprived of," steira "sterile," stereos "firm, solid, stiff, hard;" Sanskrit starih "a barren cow;" Old Church Slavonic sterica "a barren cow;" Gothic stairo "barren;" Old Norse stirtla "a barren cow"). See torpor. Originally in English with reference to soil; of females, from 1530s. The sense of "sterilized" is first recorded 1877.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR STERILE

antiseptic

adjectivecompletely clean, uncontaminated; decontaminating
  • antibacterial
  • antibiotic
  • aseptic
  • bactericidal
  • clean
  • disinfectant
  • germ-destroying
  • germ-free
  • germicidal
  • hygienic
  • medicated
  • prophylactic
  • pure
  • purifying
  • sanitary
  • sterile
  • sterilized
  • sterilizing
  • unpolluted
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.
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