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[in-fur-tl or, esp. British, -tahyl] /ɪnˈfɜr tl or, esp. British, -taɪl/
not fertile; unproductive; sterile; barren:
infertile soil.
Origin of infertile
1590-1600; < Latin infertilis. See in-3, fertile
Related forms
infertilely, adverb
infertility, infertileness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for infertility
  • Physician referral services, a member-to-member contact system, and publications about infertility can be found here.
  • The result: inbreeding, which scientists believe cause genetic defects and infertility.
  • Novel device could aid the treatment of infertility.
  • Novel device could aid the treatment of infertility.
  • And yeah, it was probably that on top of a couple of previous years of infertility, which is incredibly stressful.
  • In my case it turned out my worry was well-founded, and it took three years and a variety of tests and treatments for infertility.
  • In every era, there's been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility.
  • Technology has really advanced and infertility wont be a problem in the future.
  • infertility treatments led to reproductive liberation.
  • And as far as treatment for infertility is concerned, the odds are that there would be other ways of overcoming the problem.
British Dictionary definitions for infertility


not capable of producing offspring; sterile
(of land) not productive; barren
Derived Forms
infertilely, adverb
infertility (ˌɪnfəˈtɪlɪtɪ) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for infertility

c.1600, from Late Latin infertilitatem (nominative infertilitas), from infertilis (see infertile).



1590s, from French infertile (late 15c.), from Late Latin infertilis "unfruitful," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fertilis (see fertile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infertility in Medicine

infertility in·fer·til·i·ty (ĭn'fər-tĭl'ĭ-tē)

  1. Absent or diminished fertility.

  2. The persistent inability to achieve conception and produce an offspring.

infertile in·fer·tile (ĭn-fûr'tl)
Incapable of producing offspring; sterile.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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infertility in Science
The inability to achieve conception after persistent attempts over a given period of time, usually one year in humans.
  1. Not capable of reproducing.

  2. Not capable of developing into a complete organism, as infertile eggs.

  3. Relating to soil or land that is not capable of supporting or is unfavorable to the growth of plants.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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