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a. Not producing or incapable of producing offspring. Used of female animals.
b. Often Offensive Not producing or incapable of producing offspring. Used of women.
2. Not producing or incapable of producing fruit: barren trees.
3. Lacking vegetation, especially useful vegetation: barren tundra.
4. Unproductive of results or gains; unprofitable: "That icy winter silence—how it froze you from your bride, / Tho' I made one barren effort to break it at the last!" (Alfred Lord Tennyson). See Synonyms at futile.
5. Devoid of something specified: writing barren of insight.
6. Lacking in liveliness or interest: a barren routine.
often barrens A tract of unproductive land, often with a scrubby growth of trees.
[Middle English barreine, from Old French brahaigne, perhaps of Germanic origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.