American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Not producing offspring.
- adj. Incapable of producing offspring.
- adj. Lacking vegetation, especially useful vegetation.
- adj. Unproductive of results or gains; unprofitable: barren efforts. See Synonyms at futile.
- adj. Devoid of something specified: writing barren of insight. See Synonyms at empty.
- adj. Lacking in liveliness or interest.
- n. A tract of unproductive land, often with a scrubby growth of trees. Often used in the plural.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Incapable of producing or that does not produce its kind: applied to animals and plants.
- In particular— Sterile; castrated: said of male animals.
- Without fruit or seed: said of trees or plants.
- Bearing no children; childless; without issue: said of a woman.
- Not bearing or pregnant at the usual season: said of female animals: as, barren heifers.
- Producing little or no vegetation; unproductive; unfruitful; sterile: applied to land.
- In mining, unproductive; unprofitable: applied to rocks.
- Void of vital germs.
- Mentally unproductive; unresponsive; dull; stupid.
- Devoid; lacking; wanting: with of: as, a hill barren of trees; a mind barren of ideas.
- Not producing or leading to anything; profitless; fruitless: as, barren tears; a barren attachment.
- Destitute of interest or attraction; unsuggestive; uninstructive; bald; bare: as, a barren list of names.
- n. A tract or region of more or less unproductive land, partly or entirely treeless. The term is best known in the United States as the name of a district in Kentucky, “the Barrens,” underlaid by the subcarboniferous limestone, but possessing a fertile soil, which was nearly or quite treeless when that State began to be settled by the whites, but which at present, where not cultivated, is partly covered with trees. In northeastern Canada the name barrens is given to treeless, grass-covered areas, once the beds of lakes, but now desiccated and in most cases the exact counterpart of various tracts existing in the western United States, and there generally called
prairies, but sometimes holes. The pine-barrens of the southern Atlantic States are sandy plains on which is a valuable growth of southern or long-leafed pine, Pinus palustris.
- To render barren or unproductive.
- adj. not comparable unable to bear children; sterile
- adj. of poor fertility, infertile
- adj. bleak
- adj. not productive
- n. An area of low fertility and habitation, a desolate place.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; -- said of women and female animals.
- adj. Not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; sterile.
- adj. Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty.
- adj. Mentally dull; stupid.
- n. A tract of barren land.
- n. American Elevated lands or plains on which grow small trees, but not timber. They are not necessarily sterile, and are often fertile.
- adj. completely wanting or lacking
- adj. not bearing offspring
- n. an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation
- adj. providing no shelter or sustenance
- From Old French baraigne ("sterile, barren"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English barreine, from Old French brahaigne, perhaps of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“That is, _such barren plants_ are exhibited in the creation, to make us _thankful when we have more taste and feeling than he, of those parts_ or qualities _which_ produce fruit _in us_, and preserve as from being likewise _barren plants_.”
“But Strabo only speaks of the neighborhood of Jerusalem, which he calls barren and arid to the extent of sixty stadia round the city: in other parts he gives a favorable testimony to the fertility of many parts of Palestine: thus he says, "Near Jericho there is a grove of palms, and a country of a hundred stadia, full of springs, and well peopled.”
“Given that recent US wars have been fought in barren deserts and urban cityspaces, it seems difficult to imagine that the robots will find plentiful plant matter to consume.”
“This influx revitalized the Scottish Highlands: glens that had lain barren save eagles and rutting stags since the Highland Clearances of the 1780s rang once again with human activity.”
“EL ALTO, Bolivia — Tattered dummies look down on this city from street poles in barren squares, like scarecrows for anyone with bad intentions.”
“In tree belts, such shelters are constructed of decomposing leaf litter and other organic debris; in barren, polar regions, they are madeof snow.”
“The 33-year-old pilot from Ohio would spend the next four years, 10 months and nine days in barren, dank cells with little more than two blankets and a tin cup to hold water.”
“Our Club calendar of events is normally barren from the end of April to the beginning of October, but the summer of '73 has been exceedingly fruitful in that this is the third special meeting, all involving guest speakers of international prominence.”
“Dreary little houses, with chimneys built outside, with clay and rough sticks piled crosswise, as we used to build cob towers, stood in barren looking fields, with cow, pig, or mule lounging about the door.”
“Gate, and the Crushing Mills at the North End of Silver City in barren wastes apparently unfit for cultivation and the subsistence of”
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