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barren

adjective

Definition: 1. not capable of sustaining life; 2. not able to have children; 3. bare of vegetation; 4. not producing anything of value or interest; 5. lacking in something specific

Synonyms: desolate, fruitless, infertile, sterile, unproductive, devoid, lacking

Antonyms: fruitful, fertile, fecund, productive

Tips: For a memory trick, note how barren sounds like "bear end." Note that a bear could not survive in a barren land as bears need fruits, berries, meat, and water to survive. A barren land is devoid of life, so a bear's life would end in a barren land. The word barren can also be a noun, meaning "a flat area of infertile soil."

Usage Examples:

We drove through the barren landscape, hoping to see trees again soon. (desolate, fruitless)

His ideas are barren of any original thought or creativity. (devoid, lacking)

When Molly's doctor said that she was barren and would never be able to have children, she and her husband decided to adopt. (infertile, sterile)

The soil had been barren for years, and the farmer decided to sell his land to developers. (fruitless, unproductive)


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