I. adjective 1. (of land) too poor to produce much or any vegetation. • the plains of Kyrenia were barren.
• the barren, burnt-up countryside.
2. (of a tree or plant) not producing fruit or seed. • the barren fig tree.
‹archaic› (of a woman) infertile.
4. (of a female animal) not pregnant or unable to become so. 5. showing no results or achievements; unproductive • he scored yesterday to end his barren spell.
6. (of a place or building) bleak and lifeless. • the sports hall turned out to be a rather barren concrete building.
• the flat feels too tidy, almost barren.
7. empty of meaning or value. • your life will be barren.
8. ( barren of) — devoid of • the room was barren of furniture.
II. noun 1. (usu. barrens) —
(chiefly N. Amer.) a barren tract or tracts of land
• the Newfoundland barrens.
‹rare› a group or drove of mules
• the Greeks were seen to drive a barren of mules.
III. derivatives 1. barrenly /ˈbarənli / adverb
2. barrenness /ˈbar(ə)nnəs / noun
– origin Middle English: from Old French barhaine, of unknown origin.