V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. free from dirt and germs--sanitary; 2. unable to reproduce; 3. not effective or creative

Synonyms: antibacterial, sanitary, hygienic, germ-free, clean, barren, infertile, fruiless, ineffective, unproductive

Antonyms: dirty, contaminated, unsanitary, fertile, effective

Tips: Sterile describes things that are not productive or active. When referring to an object, sterile means "without live or active bacteria." When referring to a person, it means "not able to produce children," and when referring to an idea or proposal, it means "unproductive or ineffective."

Usage Examples:

The doctor's office was cold and sterile. (clean, sanitary, antibacterial)

Chemotherapy killed the woman's cancer, but also made her sterile. (barren, infertile)

The school nurse always wore sterile gloves when treating students' injuries. (clean, germ-free, sanitary)

Many school board members regarded the superintendent's proposal as just another sterile and unimaginative idea. (ineffective)

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