• WordNet 3.6
    • adj barren completely wanting or lacking "writing barren of insight","young recruits destitute of experience","innocent of literary merit","the sentence was devoid of meaning"
    • adj barren not bearing offspring "a barren woman","learned early in his marriage that he was sterile"
    • adj barren providing no shelter or sustenance "bare rocky hills","barren lands","the bleak treeless regions of the high Andes","the desolate surface of the moon","a stark landscape"
    • n barren an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation "the barrens of central Africa","the trackless wastes of the desert"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Barren A tract of barren land.
    • Barren 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.
    • Barren Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; -- said of women and female animals. "She was barren of children."
    • Barren Mentally dull; stupid.
    • Barren Not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; sterile. "Barren mountain tracts."
    • Barren Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty. "Brilliant but barren reveries.""Some schemes will appear barren of hints and matter."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • barren Incapable of producing or that does not produce its kind: applied to animals and plants.
    • barren In particular— Sterile; castrated: said of male animals.
    • barren Without fruit or seed: said of trees or plants.
    • barren Bearing no children; childless; without issue: said of a woman.
    • barren Not bearing or pregnant at the usual season: said of female animals: as, barren heifers.
    • barren Producing little or no vegetation; unproductive; unfruitful; sterile: applied to land.
    • barren In mining, unproductive; unprofitable: applied to rocks.
    • barren Void of vital germs.
    • barren Mentally unproductive; unresponsive; dull; stupid.
    • barren Devoid; lacking; wanting: with of: as, a hill barren of trees; a mind barren of ideas.
    • barren Not producing or leading to anything; profitless; fruitless: as, barren tears; a barren attachment.
    • barren Destitute of interest or attraction; unsuggestive; uninstructive; bald; bare: as, a barren list of names.
    • n barren 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.
    • barren To render barren or unproductive.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Barren bar′en incapable of bearing offspring: unfruitful: dull, stupid: unprofitable (with of)
    • ***


  • Marguerite Duras
    “Alcohol is barren. The words a man speaks in the night of drunkenness fade like the darkness itself at the coming of day.”
  • Edward Dahlberg
    “One cat in a house is a sign of loneliness, two of barrenness, and three of sodomy.”
  • Alfred Whitney Griswold
    Alfred Whitney Griswold
    “It is a barren kind of criticism which tells you what a thing is not.”
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein
    “Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.”
  • Sir Arthur Helps
    Sir Arthur Helps
    “Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.”
  • Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
    “Revenge is barren of itself: it is the dreadful food it feeds on; its delight is murder, and its end is despair.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. barein, OF. brehaing, fem. brehaigne, baraigne, F. bréhaigne,; of uncertain origin; cf. Arm. brékhañ, markhañ, sterile; LL. brana, a sterile mare, principally in Aquitanian and Spanish documents; Bisc. barau, baru, fasting
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. barain, brahain, brehaing, perh. from bar, man, as if 'male-like, not producing offspring.'


In literature:

The same character of scenery continued, but with a more bleak and barren aspect, and the population became more scanty.
"Northern Travel" by Bayard Taylor
A lonely letter on a barren evening, saying that there was nothing to say.
"The Job" by Sinclair Lewis
There are no white men in the Barren Grounds.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
An utterly barren waste met my gaze.
"The Fire People" by Ray Cummings
A second excursion made during the evening of the same day was equally barren of good results.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
They have been telling me about the Barren Lands.
"On the Edge of the Arctic" by Harry Lincoln Sayler
Mile after mile for nearly twenty miles stretches this stony and barren waste.
"The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol" by William J. Locke
Nothing could be more barren, more desolate.
"A Spoil of Office" by Hamlin Garland
On the wide level barrens beyond the Tete-a-Gouche River the locomotive reached its best speed, purring like a huge cat and running smoothly.
"The Boy Scouts Book of Campfire Stories" by Various
It is built in a basin-shaped hollow, encircled by barren and precipitous rocks.
"Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests" by J. J. von Tschudi

In poetry:

Mouth bitter and dry echoes
stalks burnt young,
eyes barren with fire -
a golden kernel.
"Night" by Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski
Just a shard of shattered hope
On a barren Kerry slope;
Just a ruin in the rain,
"Rahinane" by Clinton Scollard
Soul—where kindred kindness,
No early promise woke,
Barren is thy beauty,
As weed upon a rock.
"The Two Children Pt 1" by Emily Jane Bronte
Black as iron is the landwash
Under the wet fog;
And green sucks the tide.
Back of all lie barren and bog.
"The Fiddler" by Theodore Goodridge Roberts
But twenty miles from this high butte
On which I stand,
The roots of rain have shrivelled up
In barren land.
"Rain Sequence" by Norman MacLeod
So much barren regret,
So many hours wasted!
And now I watch, from the window,
the rain, the wandering busses.
"Villanelle: The Psychological Hour" by Ezra Pound

In news: "Back to the Barrens" by George Erickson.
Man-made snow coats a ski slope, but barren ground remains Thursday under more.
Glasgow and Barren County officials met today to talk about an outdated agreement related to their 911 center and dispatching.
The hillside called E1 is one of the few places around Jerusalem that Jesus Christ might still recognize: a stony, dusty, barren slope on the way down to the desert and the Dead Sea.
Dwarf planet beyond Pluto is small and barren.
GLASGOW — Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and his attorney, J. Guthrie True, filed a motion Thursday to continue a federal trial that was set for Dec 3.
I call today's species a roadside wildflower because it thrives in some of the most barren habitats.
Members of the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission took part in a near all-day retreat Tuesday at Colton's in Glasgow.
A miniature farm in West L.A. Steven Wynbrandt in his garden, which just three years ago was a barren yard with problematic soil.
S took possession of a barren, frozen wasteland.
Steven Wynbrandt in his garden , which just three years ago was a barren yard with problematic soil.
Glasgow and Barren County officials met today to talk about an outdated agreement related to their 911 center and dispatching.
Kittens at Barren River Animal Welfare Association work their wiles Saturday afternoon during BRAWA's Christmas Open house, trying to convince visitors to the shelter to take them home for Christmas.
The Barren County native was the eldest son of the late Thomas and Ellie Craighead Hare and the husband of the late Dorothy Branstetter Hare .
Last stock standing on the barren ground, In the distance still stands green trees, Creek runs there, here bare around, Crumpled plants bent to their knees.

In science:

Thus, directly on Mn (C), we see only a seemingly barren geometry.
Azumaya-type noncommutative spaces and morphisms therefrom: Polchinski's D-branes in string theory from Grothendieck's viewpoint
We say that the groupology ∗Zθx−1  is barren if there are Corollary 9.
Real Algebraic Number Theory II. Ideological Arithmetic
Then ∗Zθx−1  is barren ⇔ θ ∈ B. no non-trivial grupological sums.
Real Algebraic Number Theory II. Ideological Arithmetic
And thus if one is searching for the MSSM in the mostly barren string landscape, one should incorporate SUSY GUTs at the first step.
Searching for the Standard Model in the String Landscape : SUSY GUTs
Say a base vertex is fertile if it has a child that is not a base vertex and barren otherwise.
A combinatorial survey of identities for the double factorial