barren

Drive through a forest that's just been destroyed by a fire, and you'll get an idea of what barren means — stripped of vegetation and devoid of life.

Not to be confused with a baron, a kind of nobleman, barren is often used to describe an area of land that lacks any signs of life. A barren wilderness is dry and empty, with no foliage or twittering birds to be found. An old-fashioned and unflattering word for a woman who is unable to have children is barren.

Primary Meanings of barren

1.
adjn
completely wanting or lacking
an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation
2.
adj
not bearing offspring
Full Definitions of barren
1

adj completely wanting or lacking

“writing barren of insight”
Synonyms:
destitute, devoid, free, innocent
nonexistent
not having existence or being or actuality

adj providing no shelter or sustenance

barren lands”
Synonyms:
bare, bleak, desolate, stark
inhospitable
unfavorable to life or growth

n an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation

“the barrens of central Africa”
Synonyms:
waste, wasteland
Types:
heath, heathland
a tract of level wasteland; uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation
Type of:
wild, wilderness
a wild and uninhabited area left in its natural condition
2

adj not bearing offspring

“a barren woman”
Synonyms:
infertile, sterile, unfertile
incapable of reproducing

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