not producing or incapable of producing offspring; sterile:
a barren woman.
without capacity to interest or attract:
a barren period in American architecture.
mentally unproductive; dull; stupid.
not producing results; fruitless:
a barren effort.
destitute; bereft; lacking (usually followed by of):
barren of tender feelings.
Usually, barrens. level or slightly rolling land, usually with a sandy soil and few trees, and relatively infertile.
incapable of producing offspring, seed, or fruit; sterile: a barren tree
unable to support the growth of crops, etc; unproductive; bare: barren land
lacking in stimulation or ideas; dull: a rather barren play
not producing worthwhile results; unprofitable: a barren period in a writer’s life
(foll by of) totally lacking (in); devoid (of): his speech was barren of wit
(of rock strata) having no fossils
c.1200, from Old French baraigne, baraing “sterile, barren” (12c.), perhaps originally brahain, of obscure derivation, perhaps from a Germanic language. In England, originally used of women, of land in France. Of land in English from late 14c. As a noun, mid-13c., “a barren woman;” later of land.
BARRENS. Elevated lands, or plains upon which grow small trees, but never timber. [Bartlett, “Dictionary of Americanisms,” 1848]
barren bar·ren (bār’ən)
Not producing offspring.
Incapable of producing offspring.
For a woman to be barren was accounted a severe punishment among the Jews (Gen. 16:2; 30:1-23; 1 Sam. 1:6, 27; Isa. 47:9; 49:21; Luke 1:25). Instances of barrenness are noticed (Gen. 11:30; 25:21; 29:31; Judg. 13:2, 3; Luke 1:7, 36).
- Barren lands
a sparsely inhabited region of tundra in N Canada, especially in the area W of Hudson Bay. Historical Examples It suited English policy that even, the barren lands of Snowdon should be divided. The History of England T.F. Tout But the Apaches had their warlords also, rider of barren lands. The Defiant Agents Andre Alice […]
- Barrister and solicitor
an attorney who is licensed to prepare cases and argue them in court in the common-law provinces of Canada and in New Zealand and Australia.
(in England) a lawyer who is a member of one of the Inns of Court and who has the privilege of pleading in the higher courts. Compare solicitor (def 4). Informal. any lawyer. Contemporary Examples The founder, Motilal Nehru, an Anglophile barrister, was a liberal member of the Indian nationalist movement. The Unstoppable Gandhi Aravind […]
adjective (Austral, slang) embarrassing Contemporary Examples barro, a young Bloomberg View columnist, is (it seems to me) more than halfway down the Frum-Bartlett path. The GOP’s Pitiful Reformers Michael Tomasky May 27, 2013 I was thrilled to see Collins take a stand, but I’m generally with barro on this subject. Jason Collins Becomes the First […]