Etymology
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sterile (adj.)

mid-15c., "barren," from Old French stérile "not producing fruit" and directly from Latin sterilis "barren, unproductive, unfruitful; unrequited; unprofitable," from PIE *ster- "lacking, sterile," source also of Sanskrit starih "a barren cow," Greek steira "sterile, infertile" (of a cow, goat, woman), Armenian sterj "infertile," perhaps ultimately from root *ster- (1) "stiff." Originally in English with reference to soil; of persons (chiefly females), from 1530s. The sense of "sterilized, free from living germs" is first recorded 1877.

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Definitions of sterile

sterile (adj.)
free of or using methods to keep free of pathological microorganisms;
a sterile operating area
Synonyms: aseptic
sterile (adj.)
incapable of reproducing;
Synonyms: unfertile / infertile
sterile (adj.)
deficient in originality or creativity; lacking powers of invention;
a sterile ideology lacking in originality
Synonyms: unimaginative / uninspired / uninventive
From wordnet.princeton.edu