Dictionary > Barren


1. A tract of barren land.
2. 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.
1. Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; aid of women and female animals. She was barren of children. (bp. Hall)
2. Not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; rile. Barren mountain tracts.
3. Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty. Brilliant but barren reveries. (Prescott) Some schemes will appear barren of hints and matter. (Swift)
4. Mentally dull; stupid. Barren flower, a flower which has only stamens without a pistil, or which as neither stamens nor pistils.
(Science: geography) barren grounds, a vast tract in British America northward of the forest regions.
(Science: zoology) barren ground bear, a small reindeer (Rangifer Groenlandicus) peculiar to the barren grounds and Greenland.
Origin: oe. Barein, OF. Brehaing, em. Brehaigne, baraigne, f. Brehaigne; of uncertain origin; cf. Arm. Brekha, markha, sterile; LL. Brana a sterile mare, principally in Aquitanian and spanish documents; Bisc. Barau, baru, fasting.

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