In reality,” Francis said, “theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity.
Making peace with your enemies can be pragmatic and lasting; making peace by ignoring their enmity is foolish and sterile.
She showed her sterile bedroom, complete with home respirators that bubbled in the background.
early 15c., "barren" (implied in sterility), from Middle French stérile "not producing fruit," from Latin sterilis "barren, unproductive," from PIE *ster- "sterile, barren" originally "stiff, rigid" (cf. Greek steresthai "be deprived of," steira "sterile," stereos "firm, solid, stiff, hard;" Sanskrit starih "a barren cow;" Old Church Slavonic sterica "a barren cow;" Gothic stairo "barren;" Old Norse stirtla "a barren cow"). See torpor. Originally in English with reference to soil; of females, from 1530s. The sense of "sterilized" is first recorded 1877.
sterile ster·ile (stěr'əl, -īl')
Not producing or incapable of producing offspring.
Free from all live bacteria or other microorganisms and their spores.