Definition of Barren

1. Noun. An uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation. "The trackless wastes of the desert"

Exact synonyms: Waste, Wasteland
Specialized synonyms: Heath, Heathland
Generic synonyms: Wild, Wilderness
Derivative terms: Waste

2. Adjective. Providing no shelter or sustenance. "A stark landscape"
Exact synonyms: Bare, Bleak, Desolate, Stark
Similar to: Inhospitable
Derivative terms: Bareness, Barrenness, Bleakness, Starkness

3. Adjective. Not bearing offspring. "Learned early in his marriage that he was sterile"
Similar to: Infertile, Sterile, Unfertile
Derivative terms: Barrenness

4. Adjective. Completely wanting or lacking. "The sentence was devoid of meaning"
Exact synonyms: Destitute, Devoid, Free, Innocent
Similar to: Nonexistent

Definition of Barren

1. a. Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; -- said of women and female animals.

2. n. A tract of barren land.

Definition of Barren

1. Adjective. (not comparable) unable to bear children; sterile ¹

2. Adjective. of poor fertility, infertile ¹

3. Adjective. bleak ¹

4. Adjective. not productive ¹

5. Noun. An area of low fertility and habitation, a desolate place. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Barren

1. unproductive [adj -RENER, -RENEST] : BARRENLY [adv] / a tract of barren land [n -S] - See also: unproductive

Medical Definition of Barren

1. 1. A tract of barren land. 2. Elevated lands or plains on which grow small trees, but not timber; as, pine barrens; oak barrens. They are not necessarily sterile, and are often fertile. 1. Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; aid of women and female animals. "She was barren of children." (Bp. Hall) 2. Not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; rile. "Barren mountain tracts." 3. Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty. "Brilliant but barren reveries." (Prescott) "Some schemes will appear barren of hints and matter." (Swift) 4. Mentally dull; stupid. Barren flower, a flower which has only stamens without a pistil, or which as neither stamens nor pistils. Barren Grounds, a vast tract in British America northward of the forest regions. Barren Ground bear, a small reindeer (Rangifer Groenlandicus) peculiar to the Barren Grounds and Greenland. Origin: OE. Barein, OF. Brehaing, em. Brehaigne, baraigne, F. Brehaigne; of uncertain origin; cf. Arm. Brekha, markha, sterile; LL. Brana a sterile mare, principally in Aquitanian and Spanish documents; Bisc. Barau, baru, fasting. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Barren Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Barren

barren (current term)
barren ground caribou
barren of(p)

Literary usage of Barren

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. A Dictionary of Similes by Frank Jenners Wilstach (1916)
"A life as barren ... as is the dust to which that life doth tend. ... Brain as barren As banks of Libya. — SHAKESPEARE. barren as a rainy day. ..."

2. Bulletin by North Carolina Dept. of Conservation and Development, North Carolina Geological Survey (1883-1905), North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey (1894)
"The counties containing the larger portion of the pine-barren areas are New Hanover, Sampson, Bladen, Robeson, Cumberland, Harnett, Richmond and Moore. ..."

3. The Call of the Hen; Or, The Science of the Selection and Breeding of Poultry by National Council of Teachers of English Committee on Recreational Reading, Walter Hogan, Sherman Dickinson, Harry Reynolds Lewis, Raymond William Gregory, Louis Renou, B. K. Hindse, A. V. Leontovich, Arthur John Arberry (1913)
"With this clue I was not long in finding that my great layers were the latter and my barren and nearly barren ones, the first mentioned ..."

4. The Works of William Makepeace Thackeray by William Makepeace Thackeray, Sir Leslie Stephen (1899)
""AH, BLEAK AND barren WAS THE MOOR" AI! bleak and barren was the moor, Ah! loud and piercing was the storm, The cottage roof was sheltered sure, ..."

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