sterile
Pronunciation
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈstɛɹəl/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈstɛɹaɪl/
Adjective

sterile

  1. (uncomparable) Unable to reproduce (or procreate).
    • 1658, Thomas Browne, “The Garden of Cyrus. […]. Chapter V.”, in Hydriotaphia, Urne-buriall, […] Together with The Garden of Cyrus, […], London: Printed for Hen[ry] Brome […], OCLC 48702491 ↗; reprinted as Hydriotaphia (The English Replicas), New York, N.Y.: Payson & Clarke Ltd., 1927, OCLC 78413388 ↗, [https://archive.org/stream/hydriotaphiaurne00browuoft#page/
      /mode/1up page 192]:
      According to that Cabaliſticall Dogma: If Abram had not had this Letter [i.e., {{m
  • (figurative) Terse; lacking sentiment or emotional stimulation, as in a manner of speaking.
  • (figurative) Fruitless, uninspiring, or unproductive.
  • germless#English|Germless; free from all living or viable microorganisms.
    a sterile kitchen table
  • Free from dangerous objects, as a zone in an airport that can be only be entered via a security checkpoint.
  • (US, military) Of weapons: foreign-made and untraceable to the United States.
    • 1990, Leroy Thompson, The US Army in Vietnam (page 111)
      In addition to this rapid supply system, the US Army Counterinsurgency Support Office on Okinawa helped procure special equipment including rucksacks, special rations for irregular troops, 'sterile' weapons which could not be traced to the USA and other items not procurable through foreign channels.
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