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Wordswarms From Years Past


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Adjacent Words

barrel vault
Barrel-bellied
barrel-chested
barrel-shaped
barrel-vaulted
barrelage
Barreled
barrelfish
barrelful
barrelhead
barrelhouse
Barreling
barrelled
Barrelling
barrels
Barren flower
Barren Ground bear
barren ground caribou
Barren Grounds
Barren oak
BARREN; BARRENNESS
Barrenly
Barrenness
barrens
Barrenwort
Barret
barret cap
barretry
barrette

Barren definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BAR'REN, a. [from the same root as bare.]
1. Not producing young, or offspring; applied to animals.
2. Not producing plants; unfruitful; steril; not fertile; or producing little; unproductive; applied to the earth.
3. Not producing the usual fruit; applied to tree,etc.
4. Not copious; scanty; as a scheme barren of hints.
5. Not containing useful or entertaining ideas; as a barren treatise.
6. Unmeaning; uninventive; dull; as barren spectators.
7. Unproductive; not inventive; as a barren mind.
BAR'REN, n. In the States west of the Allegheny, a word used to denote a tract of land, rising a few feet above the level of a plain, and producing trees and grass. The soil of these barrens is not barren, as the name imports, but often very fertile. It is usually alluvial, to a depth sometimes of several feet.
2. Any unproductive tract of land; as the pine barrens of South Carolina.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

adj
1: providing no shelter or sustenance; "bare rocky hills"; "barren lands"; "the bleak treeless regions of the high Andes"; "the desolate surface of the moon"; "a stark landscape" [syn: bare, barren, bleak, desolate, stark]
2: not bearing offspring; "a barren woman"; "learned early in his marriage that he was sterile"
3: completely wanting or lacking; "writing barren of insight"; "young recruits destitute of experience"; "innocent of literary merit"; "the sentence was devoid of meaning" [syn: barren, destitute, devoid, free, innocent] n
1: an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation; "the barrens of central Africa"; "the trackless wastes of the desert" [syn: barren, waste, wasteland]

Merriam Webster's

I. adjective Etymology: Middle English bareine, from Anglo-French barain, perhaps of Celtic origin; akin to Middle Welsh brynar fallow land Date: 13th century 1. not reproducing: as a. incapable of producing offspring used especially of females or matings b. not yet or not recently pregnant c. habitually failing to fruit 2. not productive: as a. producing little or no vegetation ; desolate <barren deserts> b. producing inferior crops <barren soil> c. unproductive of results or gain ; fruitless <a barren scheme> 3. devoid, lacking used with of <barren of excitement> 4. lacking interest or charm <a barren routine> 5. lacking inspiration or ideas <a barren mind> Synonyms: see bare barrenly adverb barrenness noun II. noun Date: 1651 1. plural an extent of usually level land having an inferior growth of trees or little vegetation 2. a tract of barren land

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj. & n. --adj. (barrener, barrenest) 1 a unable to bear young. b unable to produce fruit or vegetation. 2 meagre, unprofitable. 3 dull, unstimulating. 4 (foll. by of) lacking in (barren of wit). --n. a barren tract or tracts of land esp. (in pl.) in N. America. Derivatives: barrenly adv. barrenness n. Etymology: ME f. AF barai(g)ne, OF barhaine etc., of unkn. orig.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Barren Bar"ren, a. [OE. barein, OF. brehaing, fem. brehaigne, baraigne, F. br['e]haigne; of uncertain origin; cf. Arm. br['e]kha[~n], markha[~n], sterile; LL. brana a sterile mare, principally in Aquitanian and Spanish documents; Bisc. barau, baru, fasting.] 1. Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; -- said of women and female animals. She was barren of children. --Bp. Hall. 2. Not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; ?rile. ``Barren mountain tracts.'' --Macaulay. 3. Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty. Brilliant but barren reveries. --Prescott. Some schemes will appear barren of hints and matter. --Swift. 4. Mentally dull; stupid. --Shak. Barren flower, a flower which has only stamens without a pistil, or which as neither stamens nor pistils. Barren Grounds (Geog.), a vast tract in British America northward of the forest regions. Barren Ground bear (Zo["o]l.), a peculiar bear, inhabiting the Barren Grounds, now believed to be a variety of the brown bear of Europe. Barren Ground caribou (Zo["o]l.), a small reindeer (Rangifer Gr[oe]nlandicus) peculiar to the Barren Grounds and Greenland.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Barren Bar"ren, n. 1. A tract of barren land. 2. pl. Elevated lands or plains on which grow small trees, but not timber; as, pine barrens; oak barrens. They are not necessarily sterile, and are often fertile. [Amer.] --J. Pickering.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

1. A barren landscape is dry and bare, and has very few plants and no trees. ...the Tibetan landscape of high barren mountains. ? fertile ADJ 2. Barren land consists of soil that is so poor that plants cannot grow in it. He also wants to use the water to irrigate barren desert land. = infertile ADJ 3. If you describe something such as an activity or a period of your life as barren, you mean that you achieve no success during it or that it has no useful results. (WRITTEN) ...politics that are banal and barren of purpose. ...the player, who ended a 14-month barren spell by winning the Tokyo event in October... ADJ: oft ADJ of n 4. If you describe a room or a place as barren, you do not like it because it has almost no furniture or other objects in it. (WRITTEN) The room was austere, nearly barren of furniture or decoration... ADJ: oft ADJ of n [disapproval] 5. A barren woman or female animal is unable to have babies. (OLD-FASHIONED) He prayed that his barren wife would one day have a child. = infertile ADJ

Easton's Bible Dictionary

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).

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

a. 1. Unprolific, sterile, childless, infecund, incapable of bearing offspring. 2. Destitute of fruit, sterile, acarpous. 3. Unfertile, unproductive, sterile, poor, bare. 4. Ineffectual, uninstructive, unsuggestive, infecund, leading to nothing, unproductive.

Moby Thesaurus

abortive, acarpous, arid, bare, blah, bland, blank, bleached, bleak, bloodless, bootless, celibate, characterless, childless, clear, cold, colorless, counterproductive, dead, depleted, desert, desolate, devoid, dismal, draggy, drained, drearisome, dreary, dried-up, dry, dryasdust, dull, dusty, earthbound, effete, elephantine, empty, etiolated, exhausted, fade, fallow, fatuitous, fatuous, featureless, feckless, flat, fruitless, futile, gainless, gaunt, gelded, heavy, ho-hum, hollow, impotent, impoverished, inadequate, inane, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious, inexcitable, infecund, infertile, inoperative, insipid, invalid, irreclaimable, issueless, jejune, leached, leaden, lifeless, literal, low-spirited, menopausal, mundane, nonfertile, nonproducing, nonproductive, nonprolific, nonremunerative, nugacious, nugatory, null, null and void, of no force, otiose, pale, pallid, parched, pedestrian, plodding, pointless, poky, ponderous, poor, profitless, prosaic, prosing, prosy, rewardless, sine prole, slow, solemn, spiritless, staid, sterile, stiff, stodgy, stolid, stuffy, sucked dry, superficial, tasteless, tedious, teemless, unavailing, uncultivable, uncultivated, unfanciful, unfertile, unfruitful, unideal, unimaginative, uninspired, uninventive, unlively, unoriginal, unplowed, unpoetic, unproductive, unprofitable, unprolific, unrelieved, unremunerative, unrewarding, unromantic, unromanticized, unsown, untilled, useless, vacant, vacuous, vain, vapid, virgin, void, waste, wasted, wasteland, white, wild, wilderness, wildness, with nothing inside, without content, without issue, wooden, worn-out



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