What does barren mean?

Definitions for barren
ˈbær ənbar·ren

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word barren.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. barren, waste, wastelandadjective

    an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation

    "the barrens of central Africa"; "the trackless wastes of the desert"

  2. bare, barren, bleak, desolate, starkadjective

    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"

  3. barrenadjective

    not bearing offspring

    "a barren woman"; "learned early in his marriage that he was sterile"

  4. barren, destitute, devoid, free, innocentadjective

    completely wanting or lacking

    "writing barren of insight"; "young recruits destitute of experience"; "innocent of literary merit"; "the sentence was devoid of meaning"


  1. barrennoun

    An area of low fertility and habitation, a desolate place.

    The pine barrens are a site lonely enough to suit any hermit.

  2. barrenadjective

    unable to bear children; sterile

    I silently wept as my daughter's husband rejected her. What would she do now that she was no longer a maiden but also barren?

  3. barrenadjective

    of poor fertility, infertile

  4. barrenadjective


  5. barrenadjective

    not productive

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BARRENadjective

    properly applied to trees or ground unfruitful.

    Etymology: bare , Sax. naked;

    They hail’d him father to a line of kings.
    Upon my head they plac’d a fruitless crown,
    And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
    No son of mine succeeding. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    There shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. Deuter. vii. 14.

    The situation of this city is pleasant, but the water is naught, and the ground barren. 2 Kings, ii. 19.

    Telemachus is far from exalting the nature of his country; he confesses it to be barren. Alexander Pope, Odyssey, b. iv. notes.

    From his far excursion thro’ the wilds
    Of barren ether, faithful to his time,
    They see the blazing wonder rise anew. James Thomson, Summer.

    Some schemes will appear barren of hints and matter, but prove to be fruitful. Jonathan Swift.

    There be of them that will make themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too. William Shakespeare.


  1. barren

    Barren refers to an unproductive, desolate, or uninhabited place, incapable of sustaining life or growth. It can also refer to someone or something unable of producing results, offspring, or regrowth. In another context, it describes a female (in humans or animals) unable to have children.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Barrenadjective

    incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; -- said of women and female animals

  2. Barrenadjective

    not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; /rile

  3. Barrenadjective

    unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty

  4. Barrenadjective

    mentally dull; stupid

  5. Barrennoun

    a tract of barren land

  6. Barrennoun

    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

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Barren

    bar′en, adj. incapable of bearing offspring: unfruitful: dull, stupid: unprofitable (with of).—adj. Bar′ren-beat′en.—adv. Bar′renly.—n. Bar′renness.—adjs. Bar′ren-spir′ited; Bar′ren-wit′ted. [O. Fr. barain, brahain, brehaing, perh. from bar, man, as if 'male-like, not producing offspring.']

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Barren is ranked #25459 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Barren surname appeared 971 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Barren.

    52.4% or 509 total occurrences were White.
    37.3% or 363 total occurrences were Black.
    7.9% or 77 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.3% or 13 total occurrences were of two or more races.

How to pronounce barren?

How to say barren in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of barren in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of barren in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of barren in a Sentence

  1. Luxon Mabvongwe:

    Livestock was our bank because people expected to sell and raise money for school fees, but they are all dying and there are no pastures. If you look around you, it's just barren.

  2. Sir Arthur Helps:

    Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.

  3. Kabbalah:

    We must learn not to disassociate the airy flower from the earthy root, for the flower that is cut off from its root fades, and its seeds are barren, whereas the root, secure in mother earth, can produce flower after flower and bring their fruit to maturity.

  4. Alien Life -RSB- Raymond:

    If you've been there or seen pictures, you know how barren that landscape is, in terms of fundamental nutrient availability of carbon and nitrogen, these things are tough to get your hands on when you're in a biological soil crust.

  5. Bertrand Russell:

    When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. It is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of certainty, and one should be very careful to emphasize that fact, because otherwise one is landed in an utter skepticism, and complete skepticism would, of course, be totally barren and completely useless.

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Translations for barren

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"barren." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/barren>.

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    the act of catching an object with the hands
    • A. snap
    • B. lumberman
    • C. abandon
    • D. whitewash

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