From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Στεῖρα (Strong'S #4723 — Adjective — steiros — sti'-ros )

from a root ster-- meaning "hard, firm" (hence Eng., "sterile"), signifies "barren, not bearing children," and is used with the natural significance three times in the Gospel of Luke,  Luke 1:7,36;  23:29; and with a spiritual significance in  Galatians 4:27 , in a quotation from  Isaiah 54:1 . The circumstances of Sarah and Hagar, which Isaiah no doubt had in mind, are applied by the Apostle to the contrast between the works of the Law and the promise by grace.

2: Ἀργός (Strong'S #692 — Adjective — argos — ar-gos' )

denoting "idle, barren, yielding no return, because of inactivity," is found in the best mss. in  James 2:20 (RV, "barren"); it is rendered "barren" in   2—Peter 1:8 , AV, (RV, "idle"). In  Matthew 12:36 , the "idle word" means the word that is thoughtless or profitless. See Idle , SLOW; cp. katargeo, under Abolish

King James Dictionary [2]

BAR'REN, a. from the same root as bare.

1. Not producing young, or offspring applied to animals. 2. Not producing plants unfruitful steril not fertile or producing little unproductive applied to the earth. 3. Not producing the usual fruit applied to tree,&c. 4. Not copious scanty as a scheme barren of hints. 5. Not containing useful or entertaining ideas as a barren treatise. 6. Unmeaning uninventive dull as barren spectators. 7. Unproductive not inventive as a barren mind.

BAR'REN, n. In the States west of the Allegheny, a word used to denote a tract of land, rising a few feet above the level of a plain, and producing trees and grass. The soil of these barrens is not barren, as the name imports, but often very fertile. It is usually alluvial, to a depth sometimes of several feet.


2. Any unproductive tract of land as the pine barrens of South Carolina.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [3]

 Exodus 23:26 (c) Here is indicated a failure in service so that the person does not reproduce himself in others. He has no spiritual children. He has led none to Christ That unfortunate situation will not exist in the life of one who walks with the Lord and yields to the Holy Spirit. (See also  Deuteronomy 7:14;  2 Kings 2:19;  Psalm 113:9;  Song of Solomon 4:2).

 1 Samuel 2:5 (b) Hannah is telling us in this figure that those whose hearts are right with GOD, and who desire the glory of GOD will find that the life which has been barren will now become unusually fruitful.

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): (n.) A tract of barren land.

(2): (a.) Incapable of producing offspring; producing no young; sterile; - said of women and female animals.

(3): (n.) Elevated lands or plains on which grow small trees, but not timber; as, pine barrens; oak barrens. They are not necessarily sterile, and are often fertile.

(4): (a.) Mentally dull; stupid.

(5): (a.) Not producing vegetation, or useful vegetation; /rile.

(6): (a.) Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

 Genesis 16:2 30:1-23 1 Samuel 1:6,27 Isaiah 47:9 49:21 Luke 1:25 Genesis 11:30 25:21 29:31 Judges 13:2,3 Luke 1:7,36

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [6]

(when spoken of persons, properly עָקָי , Akar', Στεῖρος ) . Barrenness is, in the East, the hardest lot that can befall a woman, and was considered among the Israelites as the heaviest punishment with which the Lord could visit a female ( Genesis 16:2;  Genesis 30:1-23;  1 Samuel 1:6;  Isaiah 47:9;  Isaiah 49:21;  Luke 1:25; Niebuhr, p. 76; Volney, 2:359; Lane's Egyptians, 1:74). In the Talmud ( Yeramoth, 6:6) a man was Bound, after ten years of childless conjugal life, to marry another woman (with or without repudiation of the first), and even a third one if the second proved also barren. Nor is it improbable that Moses himself contributed to strengthen the opinion of disgrace by the promises of the Lord of exemption from barrenness as a blessing ( Exodus 23:26;  Deuteronomy 7:14). Instances of childless wives are found in  Genesis 11:30;  Genesis 25:21;  Genesis 29:31;  Judges 13:2-3;  Luke 1:7;  Luke 1:36. Some cases of unlawful marriages, and more especially with a brother's wife, were visited with the punishment of barrenness ( Leviticus 20:20-21); Michaelis, however ( Mosaisches Recht, v. 290), takes the word עֲרַירַי ( Destitute, "childless") here in a figurative sense, implying that the children born in such an illicit marriage should not be ascribed to the real father, but to the former brother, thus depriving the second husband of the share of patrimonial inheritance which would otherwise have fallen to his lot if the first brother had died childless. The reproach attached to sterility, especially by the Hebrews, may perhaps be accounted for by the constant expectation of the Messiah, and the hope that every woman cherished that she might be the mother of the promised Seed. This constant hope seems to account for many circumstances in the Old Testament history which might otherwise appear extraordinary or exceptionable ( Genesis 3:15;  Genesis 21:6-7;  Genesis 25:21-23;  Genesis 27:13;  Genesis 28:14;  Genesis 38:11-18;  Deuteronomy 25:9). This general notion of the disgrace of barrenness in a woman may early have given rise, in the patriarchal age, to the custom among barren wives of introducing to their husbands their maid-servants, and of regarding the children born in that concubinage as their own. by which they thought to cover their own disgrace of barrenness ( Genesis 16:2;  Genesis 30:3). (See Child).