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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce sterile (audio)

Dictionary definition of sterile

Lacking or free from living organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms.
"The operating room must maintain a sterile environment to prevent infections."

Detailed meaning of sterile

It describes an environment or condition that is devoid of life or incapable of supporting life. Sterility can be associated with cleanliness, purity, and aseptic conditions, particularly in medical and laboratory settings. It implies the absence of contamination or the ability to prevent the growth or spread of harmful organisms. In a broader sense, "sterile" can also describe a situation or atmosphere that lacks vitality, creativity, or excitement, often implying a lack of emotional or intellectual stimulation. It can connote a state of dullness, emptiness, or barrenness. However, it's important to note that the exact meaning and connotations of "sterile" may vary depending on the context in which it is used.

Example sentences containing sterile

1. The operating room must be kept sterile at all times.
2. The laboratory equipment undergoes regular sterile cleaning.
3. The surgeon wore a sterile gown and gloves.
4. The hospital environment was maintained in a sterile condition.
5. The IV fluid was administered through a sterile needle.
6. The dentist used sterile instruments during the procedure.

History and etymology of sterile

The adjective 'sterile' has its origins in Latin, where it derives from the word 'sterilis,' meaning 'barren' or 'unproductive.' In its earliest usage, 'sterilis' referred to land that was infertile and unable to support the growth of plants. Over time, this term evolved in English to describe conditions or environments that are lacking or free from living organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms. The etymology of 'sterile' thus underscores the idea of a complete absence of life or reproductive capability, making it a fitting term to describe environments or objects that are intentionally kept free from potentially harmful or unwanted biological agents.

Quiz: Find the meaning of sterile

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Further usage examples of sterile

1. The microbiology lab required a sterile work area.
2. The packaging ensured sterile storage of medical supplies.
3. The petri dish remained sterile until inoculated.
4. The pharmaceutical company adhered to strict sterile protocols.
5. The cleanroom maintained a sterile atmosphere for production.
6. The astronaut's suit had to be perfectly sterile in space.
7. The nursery for premature babies was kept sterile.
8. The food production facility followed sterile processing.
9. The sterile swab was used for bacterial culture.
10. The sterile technique minimized infection risk.
11. The surgical field was prepared to be sterile.
12. The air inside the cleanroom was maintained sterile.
13. The laboratory technician donned a sterile lab coat.
14. The sterile saline solution was used for wound care.
15. The laboratory technician wore gloves and a mask to ensure a sterile handling of the samples.
16. The sterile packaging ensured that the medical equipment remained uncontaminated.
17. The doctor used a sterile needle to administer the vaccine.
18. The barren desert was a sterile landscape devoid of any signs of life.
19. The artist's work lacked creativity and felt sterile.
20. The office cubicle had a sterile and impersonal atmosphere.
21. The sterilized surgical instruments were neatly arranged on the tray.
22. The sterilization process eliminated all bacteria and created a sterile environment.
23. The sterile white walls of the room gave it a clinical and cold feel.
24. The laboratory required strict adherence to sterile procedures to avoid cross-contamination.
25. The sterile laboratory environment was essential for conducting accurate scientific experiments.



germ-free, contaminated, dirty, infected


SAT 7 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Cleanliness and Upkeep, Health and Hygiene

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