• WordNet 3.6
    • adj sterile deficient in originality or creativity; lacking powers of invention "a sterile ideology lacking in originality","unimaginative development of a musical theme","uninspired writing"
    • adj sterile incapable of reproducing "an infertile couple"
    • adj sterile free of or using methods to keep free of pathological microorganisms "a sterile operating area","aseptic surgical instruments","aseptic surgical techniques"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Mules are genetically sterile. i.e. they cannot reproduce.
    • Sterile Fig.: Barren of ideas; destitute of sentiment; as, a sterile production or author.
    • Sterile (Biol) Free from reproductive spores or germs; as, a sterile fluid.
    • Sterile (Biol) Incapable of reproduction; unfitted for reproduction of offspring; not able to germinate or bear fruit; unfruitful; as, a sterile flower, which bears only stamens.
    • Sterile Producing little or no crop; barren; unfruitful; unproductive; not fertile; as, sterile land; a sterile desert; a sterile year.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Crews, using solvent-dipped sterile gauze pads, eventually freed her legs, hands and extremities. She refused to be taken to the hospital.
    • sterile Unfruitful; unproductive; not fertile.
    • sterile Barren; not reproducing its kind.
    • sterile In botany, of a flower, producing only stamens—that is, staminate or male (compare neutral); of a stamen, having no anther, or a functionless one; of an anther, without pollen; of an ovary, without perfect seeds; of a seed, without an embryo; of a frond, without sori. See cuts under Onoclea, Ophioglossum, sassafras, and smoke-tree.
    • sterile Free from living germs.
    • sterile Leading to no results; fruitless; profitless; useless.
    • sterile Lacking richness of thought or expression; bald; bare: as, a sterile style; sterile verse.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Between 20,000 and 60,000 bees live in a single hive. The queen bee lays nearly 1,500 eggs a day and lives for up to 2 years. The drone, whose only job is to mate with the queen bee, has a lifespan of around 24 days—he has no sting. Worker bees - all sterile females - usually work themselves to death within 40 days, collecting pollen and nectar. Worker bees will fly p to 9 miles to find pollen and nectar, flying at speeds as fast as 15 mph.
    • adj Sterile ster′il unfruitful: barren:
    • adj Sterile ster′il (bot.) producing no pistil, or no spores: destitute of ideas or sentiment
    • ***


  • Albert Camus
    “The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves.”
  • Max Lerner
    “We cannot live by power, and a culture that seeks to live by it becomes brutal and sterile. But we can die without it.”
  • Salvador Dali
    “It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning.”
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
    “Either you think -- or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.”
  • Winston Churchill
    “Nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile, than vengeance.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. stérile, L. sterilis, akin to Gr. stereo`s stiff, solid, stei^ros barren, stei^ra a cow that has not calved, Goth. stairō, fem., barren. See Stare to gaze
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr.,—L. sterilis, barren.


In literature:

Another factor in sterility is abortions.
"Herself" by E. B. Lowry
What the methodically-minded do not see is that the sterility of a routine is far more appalling.
"A Preface to Politics" by Walter Lippmann
Fruit which is to be canned is first sterilized by boiling or steaming, in order to destroy all germs and spores.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Household Science in Rural Schools" by Ministry of Education Ontario
The nice clean intimacy which we now so admire between the sexes is sterilizing.
"Fantasia of the Unconscious" by D. H. Lawrence
The sterile would marry the sterile, and the fertile the fertile.
"The Good Housekeeping Marriage Book" by Various
One of the chief objects in cooking food is to render it sterile.
"Human Foods and Their Nutritive Value" by Harry Snyder
Be sure that your dentist is a careful, up-to-date man, and sterilizes his instruments carefully.
"Woman" by William J. Robinson
The milk of the infected cows was either destroyed or sterilized and used for feeding pigs.
"Preventable Diseases" by Woods Hutchinson
In one corner stands a sterilizer, steaming pleasantly like a tea kettle.
"A Book of Burlesques" by H. L. Mencken
Berlin is situated in a sandy, sterile country; so to say, in a desert.
"The Arena" by Various

In poetry:

Oh, drunken Wave! Oh, driving Cloud!
Rage of the Deep and sterile Rain,
By love upheld, by God allowed,
We go, but we return again!
"In the Matter of One Compass" by Rudyard Kipling
The more it blew, the more they faced the gale;
The more it snowed, the more they would not freeze;
And when crops failed on sterile hill and vale--
They went to reap the seas!
"Arms And The Man - The New England Group" by James Barron Hope
By footless ways and sterile went
My thought unsatisfied, and bent
With blank unspeculative eyes
On the untracked sands of discontent
Where, watched of helpless skies,
Life hopeless lies.
"On The Downs" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
A look, a pressure of the hand,
A sign of hope, a song of cheer,
May journey over sea and land,
Outliving many a sterile year,
To find at last the destined hour
When they shall leap to bud and flower.
"Influence" by John Lawson Stoddard
And we clomb--and the moon old and sterile
Clomb with us o'er torrent and scar!
And I yearned towards her oceans of beryl,
Wan mountains and cities of spar--
"'Tis not well," that one said, "you're in peril
Of falling and failing your star."
"Musagetes" by Madison Julius Cawein
Shelley dreamed it. Now the dream decays.
The props crumble; the familiar ways
Are stale with tears trodden underfoot.
The heart's flower withers at the root.
Bury it then, in history's sterile dust.
The slow years shall tame your tawny lust.
"Song at the Year's Turning" by R S Thomas

In news:

OVERVIEW Sterilization and Instrument Compatibility in a Digital World.
Sterile Processing Bill Passes.
How Sterile Little Bugs Speed Cleaning of Wounds.
As female mosquitoes only mate once in their lifetime, this innovation would result in sterile eggs.
Medikmark Inc, an Illinois company that sold medical kits that included Triad products, alleges Triad was aware of sterility issues as early as 2002 and continuing until the recent product recalls.
AORN Supports Sterile Processing Bill in New York.
It's Cool to Care: FixNation & The Need for Sterile Ferals.
Modern soccer's defensive mindset ensures sterile offense.
Here the level of sterility is down to Class 10.
Sterile Processing/Materials Management Specialty Assembly.
Overview Perioperative leaders who manage or interface with central supply, sterile processing, or purchasing departments.
Medical Pouch Testing Unit Ensures Sterility .
Teva has invested $110 million in a new sterile plant in Hungary .
Teva Pharmaceuticals has opened a new $110 million plant in Hungary , set to be one of the largest sterile medicines plants in the world.
FDA Says Massachusetts Pharmacy Knew Of Sterility Problems For Months.

In science:

In a recent paper, Hansen and Haiman (hereafter HH) have proposed a model in which the products of heavy sterile neutrino decay would significantly reionize the Universe at redshift z ≃ 20.
Decaying particles and the reionization history of the Universe
Right-handed sterile neutrinos will be denoted by n in what follows, and by N when discussing collider limits.
Study of accelerator neutrino interactions in a liquid argon TPC
One concludes that νµ ←→ νsterile oscillations are excluded at the 99.8% c.l. νµ energy estimate by Multiple Coulomb Scattering (MCS) of upthroughgoing muons.
Atmospheric neutrino and Long Baseline neutrino experiments
In the present paper we did our best to go beyond sterile academic discussions and to propose simple experiments aimed at investigating whether the presence of quantum coherence and quantum weirdness could be revealed at the level of basic biological activities.
Experimental proposal for testing the Emergence of Environment Induced (EIN) Classical Selection rules with Biological Systems
The latter may mimic some of the signatures of a sterile neutrino (similar remarks hold true for antineutrinos).
Neutrino oscillations with disentanglement of a neutrino from its partners