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Barren   /bˈærən/  /bˈɛrən/   Listen
Barren

noun
1.
An uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation.  Synonyms: waste, wasteland.  "The trackless wastes of the desert"



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"Barren" Quotes from Famous Books



... Barren words these, naked of charm ... bleak ... bare. She beheld herself, her bright spring plumage smirched and draggled, all her pinions trailing. About the man, too, there was something lacking, something ...
— Jane Journeys On • Ruth Comfort Mitchell

... that blazed down through the tenuous mists overhead to the barren blue-gray ground underfoot, there was not a single object familiar to Earthly eyes. The huge enclosure in which the three of them stood was obviously the work of intelligent beings of some kind, but its mechanical details were products of ...
— Zehru of Xollar • Hal K. Wells

... promised to hand over to the French, the flags and the arms of the Austrian troops, and had fled into the Tyrol; where he too would have led the brigade were it not for the fact that he feared that in that barren mountain country, there would not be enough fodder for so many horses. But now they had open country in front of them and having, by a ruse of which he was proud, gained a lead of six leagues over the French troops, he invited all those who had truly Austrian hearts to follow him across ...
— The Memoirs of General the Baron de Marbot, Translated by - Oliver C. Colt • Baron de Marbot

... me the first positive information that any reinforcement was to be expected. By him I was honoured with your letters of the 7th, 22d, and 31st of May, informing me that four frigates were coming out, under Commodore Barren, who is to supersede me in the command of our naval forces in these seas, at the same time approbating my conduct, and conveying to me the thanks of the President for my services. I beg you, Sir, to accept my warmest thanks for the very obliging language in ...
— The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 • J. F. Loubat

... mother, would her page Of history forevermore adorn. For twenty years, from court to court, forlorn He journeyed, poverty his heritage, And preached of virtue, but none cared to hear. Life seemed a failure, like a barren rill; He wrote his books, and lay beneath the sod: When, lo! his work began; and far and near Adown the ages Mencius preaches still: Do thy whole duty, trusting ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... peculiar habit that is much his own, stared across the table at Lady Masters, but over and through her, as if that pretty pink-and-white woman had entirely disappeared,—and the warm shadows behind her,—and in her place were no one could guess what vistas of tumbling rivers and barren tundras. ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... our gardens yield High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield, [walls] But thou, beneath the random bield [shelter] O' clod or stane, Adorns the histie stibble-field, [barren] Unseen, alane. ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... gully so that the bailiffs (I suppose) or the blacks—who were mostly dead—could n't locate it. An old wire-fence, slanting all directions, staggered past the front door. At the rear, its foot almost in the back door, sloped a barren ridge, formerly a squatter's sheep-yard. For the rest there were sky, wallaby-scrub, gum-trees, and some acres of cultivation. But Dad must have seen something in it, or he would n't have stood feasting his eyes on the wooded ...
— On Our Selection • Steele Rudd

... one fifth of the atmosphere, it is one of the most abundant and widely scattered of all substances. Almost the whole earth, whether it be rich loam, barren clay, or granite boulder, contains oxygen in some form or other; that is, in combination with other substances. But nowhere, except in the air around us, do we find oxygen free and uncombined ...
— General Science • Bertha M. Clark

... fleet, deserted before they were out of sight of England. One was left in Newfoundland. The wreck of the largest ship, with most of the provisions, off Cape Breton, so discouraged the crews that they prevailed upon Gilbert to abandon the plan to settle on such barren and stormy shores, Gilbert attempted to return on the Squirrel, the smaller of the two remaining vessels. This was a tiny vessel of scarcely ten tons burden. What was left of the little fleet voyaged homeward by the southern ...
— Introductory American History • Henry Eldridge Bourne and Elbert Jay Benton

... risen when we awoke. We all felt ravenously hungry, and were burning with thirst. Our thirst we slightly quenched with another orange apiece; but as we gazed around the barren sand-bank, we had no hopes of satisfying our hunger. Unless we could quickly reach the land, we felt we must perish. Standing up, we looked eagerly towards the east; a mist, however, which the sun had not yet dispelled, hung over that part of the horizon. The sand-bank, we judged, ...
— Saved from the Sea - The Loss of the Viper, and her Crew's Saharan Adventures • W.H.G. Kingston

... the barren surroundings; the sound draws nearer. The silent horseman grips his gun and lays it across his lap with his forefinger ready upon the trigger. His quick ears tell him that the traveler has entered ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... of the injunction to increase and multiply, he can justify the large celibate class created by positive command of the Catholic church, not only by the ordination of priests, but by the constant urging of the church that women should become the barren brides of Christ by taking on them the vows ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... a surly inhabitant spits into it. If you address him he snorts at you unintelligibly. If you turn your back to the sea you are met by a prospect of unimagined despair. There are no trees. The country is flat and barren. A dismal creek runs miles inland—an estuary fed by the River Murgle. A few battered cottages, a general shop, a couple of low public-houses, and three perky red-brick villas all in a row form the city, or town, or village, or what you will, ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... is a sickness full of woes, All remedies refusing; A plant that most with cutting grows, Most barren with best using. Why so? More we enjoy it, more it dies, If not enjoyed, it sighing ...
— Tudor and Stuart Love Songs • Various

... to restore the Creation to its former condition. That as God had promised to make the barren land fruitful, so now what they did was to restore the ancient community of enjoying the fruits of the Earth, and to distribute the benefits thereof to the poor and needy, and to feed the hungry and ...
— The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth • Lewis H. Berens

... the day it would have been at its maximum on Midsummer's Day, June 24th, the day he made land. Nothing is reported in these letters which indicates a high latitude. Now Labrador is a cold, waste region of rocks, swamps, and mountains. Even inside the Straits of Belle-Isle it is so barren and forbidding as to call forth Cartier's oft-cited remark that "it was like the land God gave to Cain." The coast of Labrador is not the place to invite a second voyage, if it be once seen; but the climate of Cape Breton ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... and cultural conditions in the backwoods of North Carolina, by one of the early settlers in the middle of the century, exhibits in all their barren cheerlessness the hardships and limitations of life in the wilderness. The father of William Few, the narrator, had trekked down from Maryland and settled in Orange County, some miles east of the little hamlet ...
— The Conquest of the Old Southwest • Archibald Henderson

... therefore, proceeded to examine the ground carefully, quartering it now in this direction and now in the other, in search of some mark or sign which should furnish us with a clue. Nor was my search by any means barren of results, for after a time I came to a spot where the guinea grass had been well trampled, indicating, to my mind, that this was the point where the various divisions of the attacking party, including their wounded, had rallied, and from which ...
— A Middy of the King - A Romance of the Old British Navy • Harry Collingwood

... her, she allowed them to execute their master's commands. Macgregor's wife was set on a pillion behind him; and Soulis giving the word, they all marched on at a rapid pace. In a few hours, having cleared the shady valleys of the Clyde, they entered the long and barren tracts of the ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... of some years since, when the whole country was hunted over for "oil sign," in many lagoons, from which bubbles of marsh-gas were constantly escaping, films of genuine petroleum were found on the surface; and as the underlying strata were barren of oil, this could only have been derived from the decaying vegetable tissue below. In the Bay of Marquette, two or three miles north of the town, where the shore is a peat bog underlain by Archan rocks, I have seen ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 362, December 9, 1882 • Various

... a burning anxiety that I had felt for some months—ever since Dinah Shadd, the strong, the patient, and the infinitely tender, had of her own good love and free will washed a shirt for me, moving in a barren ...
— Soldier Stories • Rudyard Kipling

... encroachment on one's privacy, and, at the worst, an unnatural hindrance to our development. Generally speaking, it is the man or woman who has lived with least fear of his neighbours, who is least likely to hear that last call. Nothing in retrospect is so barren as a life lived in accordance with the hypocrisies of society. For those who have never lived, and are now fain to begin living when it is too late, that last call comes indeed with a ghastly irony. But for those who have fearlessly ...
— Vanishing Roads and Other Essays • Richard Le Gallienne

... and re-turned and re-furbished, until their reappearance with the various seasons was the opening of a High Carnival of jokes? Love is not a matter of bread and butter in Vaga-bondia, thank Heaven! Love is left to Bohemia as well as to barren Respectability, and, as Griffith frequently observed with no slight enthusiasm, "When it comes to figure, where's the feminine Philistine whose silks and satins and purple and fine raiment fit like Dolly's do?" So it went on, and the two adored ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and say, 'Tis all barren': and so it is: and so is all the world to him who will not cultivate the fruits ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... themselves in that vast and melancholy desert by the skeletons of men and animals. Then they inclined their route a little to the north, and, losing even these dire memorials, came into a country of forbidding stillness. I have often heard my father dwell upon the features of that ride: rock, cliff, and barren moor alternated; the streams were very far between; and neither beast nor bird disturbed the solitude. On the fortieth day they had already run so short of food that it was judged advisable to call a halt and scatter upon all sides to hunt. A great fire was built, that its smoke might ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... white as alabaster. Ah, I have wiped the sweat from my fevered brow, and thought what a wrong-headed world we had-many a time! Every man has a history worth relating, or he must be a poor being in the measure of his kind; but I am afraid mine is becoming barren ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... every May eve, over every hearth in the island of Britain. And this went through people's hearts, and so scared them that men lost their hue and their strength, and the women their children, and the young men and the maidens lost their senses, and all the animals and the waters were left barren. ...
— The Junior Classics, V4 • Willam Patten (Editor)

... less inclination than their happier neighbors to receive from Rome an abundant recompense for their services. But the greater their difficulty to find subsistence in their native land, the stronger seemed their attachment; like that of the Switzer to his barren rocks, or of the mariner to the frail and hazardous home that bears him afloat on the ocean. This race of patriots was divided into two separate peoples. Those to the north of the Rhine were the Frisons; those to the west of the Meuse, ...
— Holland - The History of the Netherlands • Thomas Colley Grattan

... Omi awoke, scarce expecting to find either earth or heaven, when lo! they looked on what had yesterday been tilled land or barren moor, and there was a great sheet of blue. Was it sky? Had a sheet of the "blue field of heaven" fallen down? Was it the ocean? They came near it, tasted it. It was fresh and sweet as a fountain-rill. They looked ...
— Japanese Fairy World - Stories from the Wonder-Lore of Japan • William Elliot Griffis

... Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars all, Sir John: marry, good air. Spread Davy, ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... better far to sail forever in the night of blindness, with sense and feeling and mind, than to be thus content with the mere act of seeing. They have the sunset, the morning skies, the purple of distant hills, yet their souls voyage through this enchanted world with a barren stare. ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... than she later hesitated to open the desk of her brother. The correspondence which she read in that way was of a nature which exasperated her desire for vengeance almost to frenzy. For not only did she acquire the evidence of a happiness shared by them which humiliated in her the woman barren in all senses of the word, a stranger to voluptuousness as well as to maternity, but she gathered from it numerous proofs that the Countess cherished, with regard to her, a scorn of race as absolute as if Venice had been a city of the United States.... That part of ...
— Cosmopolis, Complete • Paul Bourget

... were not set up. They were even set up sulkily, in a utilitarian age which was haunted by the thought that there were a great many more sensible ways of spending money. So long as this is the dominant national sentiment, the land is barren, statues and churches will not grow—for they have to grow, as much as trees and flowers. But this moral disadvantage which lay so heavily upon the early Victorian sculpture lies in a modified degree upon that rough, picturesque, commonplace sculpture which has begun ...
— The Defendant • G.K. Chesterton

... now for some distance leaves the shore and ascends a range of barren hills containing slate, limestone and granite. Hardy trees become more abundant than the chestnut, and the mountains higher and more imposing, as we approach ...
— Itinerary through Corsica - by its Rail, Carriage & Forest Roads • Charles Bertram Black

... on; the Pilgrim's Cape Lies low along her lee, Whose headland crooks its anchor-flukes To lock the shore and sea. No treason here! it cost too dear To win this barren realm! And true and free the hands must be That ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IX., March, 1862., No. LIII. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics, • Various

... welcome thee, for thy beauty will add lustre to his court, and we shall be married with all speed. I warrant the Countess of Salisbury will be a person of importance at the English court, and thou shalt have a retinue such as in this barren country ye little dream of. Thou shalt have both lords and knights to ride in thy train, and twenty little page boys to serve thee on bended knee; and hawks, and hounds, and horses galore, so thou wouldst join in the chase. Think of it, lady, and consider not thy rough and unkind lord. If he had ...
— Tales From Scottish Ballads • Elizabeth W. Grierson

... brings us once more to that pretty painter and innocent forger whose unconscious act bore such baleful fruit on the barren hill-sides of the "Red-Rock Rancho," and also to a later blossom of her life, that ...
— The Story of a Mine • Bret Harte

... in that part lying between Tang-oa and Changchau, very large camphor-trees are met with. I have frequently travelled over this road. The road from Fuchau to Chinchew, which also takes five days to travel over, is bleak and barren, lying chiefly along the sea-coast, and in winter a most uncomfortable journey. But few trees are met with; a banyan here and there, but no camphor-trees along this route; but there is one extremely interesting feature on it that would strike the most unobservant traveller, viz.; the ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... line day and night for fourteen consecutive days, passing continuously through bleak, barren and almost unpopulated regions, crossing numerous wide rivers, an enormous lake and several mountain ranges, waiting sometimes for hours in sidings to allow homeward bound trains to pass, and seeing enough snow, even before winter had actually begun, to understand ...
— Through Siberia and Manchuria By Rail • Oliver George Ready

... on the wall." He traced the history of painting in Italy during its stagnation after the decay of ancient art, when each painter copied only his predecessor, which lasted until Giotto, born among barren mountains, drew the movements of the goats he tended, and thus advanced farther than all the earlier masters. But his successors only copied him, and painting sank again until Masaccio once more took nature ...
— Thoughts on Art and Life • Leonardo da Vinci

... fair-souled Frances! The world is darker now thou art thence; but thou shalt never see evil any more. The storms shall not rave above thine head, nor the winds beat around thee and chill thee. God hath removed thee, His beautiful lily, from this rude and barren moor, to that great garden of His Paradise, where thou shall bloom for ever. 'There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth—but they that are written in the Lamb's ...
— Robin Tremain - A Story of the Marian Persecution • Emily Sarah Holt

... company, not merely from the notion that it was proper to laugh when he did, but purely out of want of power to forbear it. He was no enemy to splendour of apparel or pomp of equipage. "Life," he would say, "is barren enough surely with all her trappings; let us therefore be cautious how we strip her." In matters of still higher moment he once observed, when speaking on the subject of sudden innovation, "He who plants a forest may doubtless cut down a hedge; yet I could wish, methinks, ...
— Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. - during the last twenty years of his life • Hester Lynch Piozzi

... have done even more than what your barren imagination has here depicted. Smith's figure, his address, ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... sensual pleasure, a savoury dish, a glass of good wine, an excellent cigar, a warm bed, which impose themselves on the nerves without expenditure of attention; with the result, of course, that little or nothing remains, a sensual impression dying, so to speak, childless, a barren, disconnected thing, without place in the memory, unmarried as it is to the memory's clients, thought and ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... head Christ, from whom the whole body maketh increase "according to the effectual working [of the Spirit] in it," Eph. v. 1, 16. Now, if the union between the Father and Christ our head cannot be dissolved, and cannot be barren and unfruitful, then certainly the Spirit of the Father which is given to Christ beyond measure, must effectually work in every member, till it bring them to "the unity of the faith," and, "to the ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... that of their own accord, they quickly enter into their method of life, and conform to their rules, and this proves a happiness to both nations: for according to their constitution, such care is taken of the soil, that it becomes fruitful enough for both, though it might be otherwise too narrow and barren for any one of them. But if the natives refuse to conform themselves to their laws, they drive them out of those bounds which they mark out for themselves, and use force if they resist. For they account it a very just cause ...
— Ideal Commonwealths • Various

... saves is not a barren intellectual process, nor an idle trust in Christ's salvation, but a practical power. If genuine it will mould ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... and mothers in this world,—some who are capable of sacrificing their children to Moloch, who will barter their own flesh and blood in return for some barren heritage or other. There are those who will exact from those dependent on them heavy tithes of daily patience and uncomplaining drudgery; while others, who are "mothers indeed" give all, asking for nothing ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... their luggage at the baggage counter, then paused to survey their surroundings. McCarran Field, the airport for Las Vegas, Nevada, was modern and attractive. But there was no mistaking that this was desert country. Beyond the airport they saw the barren mountains of the Charleston Range, and behind the motels clustered around the airport, they saw flat desert, thinly populated with ...
— The Scarlet Lake Mystery • Harold Leland Goodwin

... marvellous scene presented still another lesson to the eye: between the Parisian leaning on the parapet and the cathedral lay the "Terrain" (such was the ancient name of this barren spot), still strewn with the ruins of the Archiepiscopal Palace. When we contemplate from that quay so many commemorating scenes, when the soul has grasped the past as it does the present of this city of Paris, ...
— The Brotherhood of Consolation • Honore de Balzac

... sultry sky, and amid the strong scents of the hardier field-flowers, the huge wain is driven from the stubble field into the shadows of the impending woods, and around it the workers sing and make merry in token of joy for the abundant yield of sweet grass that shall fatten the kine in the drear barren months of snow. The young men rest on their scythes, that glisten like Turkish sabres, and, from under their broad-brimmed hats of straw, the town girls smile, as they tress garlands of garish flowers to bind the last and the largest ...
— The Bastonnais - Tale of the American Invasion of Canada in 1775-76 • John Lesperance

... and Sogdiani. Before my time no Assyrian had ever set eyes on the sea: I have seen four oceans to which no mariner has ever sailed, so far remote are they. I have made rivers to flow where I would have them, in the places where they were needed; thus did I render fertile the barren soil by watering it with my rivers. I raised up impregnable fortresses, and cut roadways through the solid rock with the pick. I opened a way for the wheels of my chariots in places to which even the feet of wild beasts had never penetrated. And, amidst all these labours, I yet found time for my ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 6 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... hillside and out across a barren flat. Halfway across the flat the trail forked. Lorry had ceased to whistle. At the fork his pony stopped of its own accord. The man turned questioningly. Lorry gestured toward the right-hand trail. The man staggered on. The horses ...
— Jim Waring of Sonora-Town - Tang of Life • Knibbs, Henry Herbert

... doctor had recommended the seaside, and this locality as quiet and restful, and not too far from the whirl of the city. The place had a charm of its own, the charm, namely, of a wide sky, illimitable, flashing, changing sea, rolling in from the far tropical South with its message of romance to the barren Northern shore, and the pure sand dunes, the product of the whippings of tempests and wild weather. The cottage was in fact an old farmhouse, not an impertinent, gay, painted piece of architecture set on the sand like a tent for a month, but ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... life. It marks the nisus formativus which begins the organization of that unwritten and only half spoken public opinion recognized by Mr. Cobden as a great underlying force even in England. It needs a little republican pollen-dust to cause the evolution of its else barren germs. The fruit of Mr. Beecher's visit will ripen in due time, not only in direct results, but in opening the way to future moral embassies, going forth unheralded, unsanctioned by State documents, in the simple ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 75, January, 1864 • Various

... conflict in the evidence, to direct a verdict for the plaintiff or for the defendant, because in such case the court may set aside a verdict and grant a new trial in favor of plaintiff or defendant. It would, therefore, be a barren form to require the jury to deliberate and find a verdict in a case where if the verdict was not one way, the court would set it aside and order a new trial, and so on, until a verdict should be found that was satisfactory to the court. So in practice it is usual for the ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... his political campaign in the North, upon the barren banks of the Neva, which, in causing much entertainment to the inhabitants of the fertile banks of the Seine, has not a little displeased the ...
— Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete - Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London • Lewis Goldsmith

... thrive in Scotland. Seed-wheat from India produced a miserable crop when planted by the Rev. M. J. Berkeley on land which would have produced a good crop of English wheat. Conversely, French wheat taken to the West Indies produced only barren spikes, while native wheat by its side yielded an enormous harvest. Tobacco in Sweden, raised from home-grown seed, ripens its seeds a month earlier than plants grown from foreign seed. In Italy, as long as orange trees were propagated by grafts, ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... important are these investigations that I herewith attach as an appendix to my message certain photographs showing present conditions in China. They show in vivid fashion the appalling desolation, taking the shape of barren mountains and gravel and sand-covered plains, which immediately follows and depends upon the deforestation of the mountains. Not many centuries ago the country of northern China was one of the most fertile ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... morning at the AEC's atomic testing grounds in the Nevada desert and two hours later, in a small hot, wooden shack miles up the barren desert wastelands, a cluster of scientists and military men huddled around a small ...
— A Filbert Is a Nut • Rick Raphael

... independent of your mood, on which the extemporary preacher has to lean so much. You can also defy chance that may call you to the pulpit at a day's notice. Your motto is: Semper paratus. Your brain may be barren and your feelings frigid, but here are thoughts already made and shaped. They are your own; and the mind instinctively responds to the children of its own birth. It rises, clasps, and embraces them. The passion glow enkindles afresh; and heart and words are aflame with the ...
— The Young Priest's Keepsake • Michael Phelan

... of July General Bonaparte left Alexandria for Damanhour. In the vast plains of Bohahire'h the mirage every moment presented to the eye wide sheets of water, while, as we advanced, we found nothing but barren ground full of deep cracks. Villages, which at a distance appear to be surrounded with water, are, on a nearer approach, discovered to be situated on heights, mostly artificial, by which they are raised above the inundations of the ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... would be troublesome to us. Why, therefore, should it not be considered troublesome also to the Deity? For the earth itself, as it is part of the world, is part also of the Deity. We see vast tracts of land barren and uninhabitable; some, because they are scorched by the too near approach of the sun; others, because they are bound up with frost and snow, through the great distance which the sun is from them. Therefore, if the world is a Deity, as these are parts ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... I worked my way through about half the Iliad, and afterwards interpreted alone a large portion of Xenophon and Herodotus. But my ardour, destitute of aid and emulation, was gradually cooled, and, from the barren task of searching words in a lexicon, I withdrew to the free and familiar conversation of Virgil and Tacitus. Yet in my residence at Lausanne I had laid a solid foundation, which enabled me, in a more propitious season, to prosecute ...
— Memoirs of My Life and Writings • Edward Gibbon

... plant or tree, which might indicate the presence of moisture. In all that broad landscape there was no gleam of hope. North, and east, and west he looked with wild questioning eyes, and then he realised that his wanderings had come to an end, and that there, on that barren crag, he was about to die. "Why not here, as well as in a feather bed, twenty years hence," he muttered, as he seated himself in the shelter ...
— A Study In Scarlet • Arthur Conan Doyle

... and the ass, for instance, if so crossed, give rise to the mule, and there is no certain evidence of offspring ever having been produced by a male and female mule. The unions of the rock-pigeon and the ring-pigeon appear to be equally barren of result. Here, then, says the physiologist, we have a means of distinguishing any two true species from any two varieties. If a male and a female, selected from each group, produce offspring, and that offspring is fertile ...
— The Origin of Species - From 'The Westminster Review', April 1860 • Thomas H. Huxley

... persistence in old and outworn methods, were not in full accord with the demands and needs of the age; that their aims were too professional and particular, and not sufficiently scientific and general; that the order of studies in them was bad, and some of the studies barren; that there ought to be a bold direction of their endowments and apparatus in the line of experimental knowledge, so as to extract from Nature new secrets, and sciences for which Humanity was panting; that, moreover, there ought to be more of fraternity and correspondence ...
— The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 • David Masson

... of the Michigan woods; a buoyant, lovable type of the self-reliant American. Her philosophy is one of love and kindness towards all things; her hope is never dimmed. And by the sheer beauty of her soul, and the purity of her vision, she wins from barren and unpromising surroundings ...
— Shorty McCabe on the Job • Sewell Ford

... light increased with the whitening moon, I did indeed behold a large vessel under full sail beating towards us, and I made no doubt 'twas Duguay-Trouin's privateer. The bosun said her course would bring her athwart ours, and I felt how barren our late victory would prove if she came to grips with us. 'Twas clear she was outsailing us, and the seasoned mariners among my comrades foretold that in a couple of hours we should be at ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... Sirens: Ah, had ye chanced to reach the home Your fond desires were set upon, Into what troubles had ye come! What barren victory had ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... he speaks when he tells us that "the science of optics has not hitherto been lectured on at Paris or elsewhere among the Latins, save twice at Oxford." It was a science on which he had laboured for ten years. But his teaching seems to have fallen on a barren soil. From the moment when the Friars settled in the Universities scholasticism absorbed the whole mental energy of the student world. The temper of the age was against scientific or philosophical studies. ...
— History of the English People, Volume II (of 8) - The Charter, 1216-1307; The Parliament, 1307-1400 • John Richard Green

... attempt pursuing the same ground which they have tracked; whence, though they may have cleared the weeds, they have also culled the flowers; and, though they have rendered the path plain, they have left it barren. ...
— Evelina • Fanny Burney

... they could discern the dozen bungalows and the Regimental Lines, or barracks, comprising the little cantonment, above which towered the dark mass of a rocky hill crowned by the ruined walls of an old native fort. On either side of their route the country was flat and at first barren. But, as they neared the capital, they passed through cultivation and rode by green fields irrigated from deep wells, by hamlets of palm-thatched mud huts where no one yet stirred, and on to where the high embrasured walls of the ...
— The Jungle Girl • Gordon Casserly

... faith supplant reason. Abraham mastered reason by faith in the Word of God. Not as though reason ever yields meekly. It put up a fight against the faith of Abraham. Reason protested that it was absurd to think that Sarah who was ninety years old and barren by nature, should give birth to a son. But faith won the victory and routed reason, that ugly beast and enemy of God. Everyone who by faith slays reason, the world's biggest monster, renders God a real service, a better service than the religions of ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... back. The Fin-Back is not gregarious. He seems a whale-hater, as some men are man-haters. Very shy; always going solitary; unexpectedly rising to the surface in the remotest and most sullen waters; his straight and single lofty jet rising like a tall misanthropic spear upon a barren plain; gifted with such wondrous power and velocity in swimming, as to defy all present pursuit from man; this leviathan seems the banished and unconquerable Cain of his race, bearing for his mark that style upon his back. From having the baleen in his ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... action a whole armoury of sarcasm and insult whetted and polished from its earlier prosaic exercise. Even the grotesque element in his humour is not wholly excluded from the Paradise Lost; it has full scope, for once, in the episodical description of the Paradise of Fools—that barren continent, beaten on by the storms of chaos, dark save for some faint glimmerings from the wall of heaven, the inhabitants a disordered and depraved multitude of philosophers, crusaders, monks, and friars, blown like leaves into the air by the winds that sweep those desert ...
— Milton • Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

... were born on the same day in neighbouring houses, and they grew up together, and played together, and loved each other. And in due course they married and started a family, and maintained themselves by cultivating their dry, barren fields about the village. They were always known as devoted to each other, and they died as they had lived—together. The same death took them on the same day; so they were buried without the village and were forgotten; ...
— The Soul of a People • H. Fielding

... "prisoner" is brought before the Commissioner for Special Bail, who is no less a personage than the rosy-faced Clerk of the Court, just adjourned. And here we cannot forbear to say, that however despicable the object sought, however barren of right the plea, however adverse to common humanity the spirit of the action, there is always to be found some legal gentleman, true to the lower instincts of the profession, ready to lend himself to his client's ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... which was still wet, but I was glad to be alive. That seems singular, doesn't it, when I had thrown myself time and again right into the jaws of death! I saw a barren shore, but found plenty to eat as I advanced into the interior. I went to the south and southeast for the first day, and soon saw the first ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: The Tribesmen • Roger Finlay

... a lone barren isle, where the wild roaring billows Assail the stern rock, and the loud tempests rave, The hero lies still, while the dew-drooping willows, Like fond weeping mourners, lean over the grave. The lightnings may flash, and the loud thunders rattle: ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 8 • Various

... generally rated high, continued to pay at that level long after depreciation set in. On the other hand, large tracts in the manufacturing districts, rapidly increasing in value, paid far less than their due share. In some cases where a barren moor has become a hive of industry, the parish now raises its quota by a rate of .001 in the pound. In a few cases, where the fall in value has been severe, the rate is very heavy, in spite of remedial legislation. Pitt could not have foreseen differences ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... of an enduring alliance—an alliance between Capitalism, with its great material influence, but barren of any one single exalted idea or principle on the one hand, and Jingoism, sterile, empty, soulless, but with a rich stock-in-trade of bombastic ideas and principles, prompted by the most selfish ...
— A Century of Wrong • F. W. Reitz

... instruction in housekeeping would be gratefully received, and a sewing class, where cutting and making plain clothing were taught, would be eagerly accepted. A mothers' meeting once a week would be more helpful to those barren minds than words can express. The work is right there, all ready and waiting for some loving, self-denying Christian woman to take up. Who in the far-off Northland will say, "Lord, here am I, send me," and who will reach deep in their pockets and say, ...
— The American Missionary, Vol. 43, No. 9, September, 1889 • Various

... Cokewald an oldish knight, Thomas de Saleby, whose wife Agnes was barren. William, his brother, also a knight, but of Hardredeshill, was the heir to the estate. Dame Agnes detested William and schemed to disappoint him. She gave out that she was with child. William disbelieved, ...
— Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln - A Short Story of One of the Makers of Mediaeval England • Charles L. Marson

... philosopher for the guidance of the teacher? By what, except their own experience, and conjectures, were teachers directed in the training of the young?—Thirty or forty years ago, what was called "education" in our ordinary week-day schools, was little more than a mechanical round of barren exercises. The excitement of religious persecution, which had been the means of disciplining the intellectual and moral powers of Scotsmen for several previous generations, had by that time gradually subsided, and had left education to do its own work, by the use ...
— A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education • James Gall

... smiling quietly. The sun had risen higher, and a dry heat rose in waves from the earth. Already her shoes were white, and moist tendrils of hair curled about her brow. Before her loomed three miles of parching highway as barren of shade as the woodsman's axe could make it. The picture of Ellen's cool kitchen and breezy porch made the distance at that moment seem interminable. There was not a wagon in sight, and unless one came along, ...
— The Wall Between • Sara Ware Bassett

... supreme idea, all the while, growing and striking deep, under everything, in the warm, rich earth. He had stood unknowing, he had walked and worked where it was buried, and the fact itself, the fact of his fortune, would have been a barren fact enough if the first sharp tender shoot had never struggled into day. There on one side was the ugliness his middle time had been spared; there on the other, from all the portents, was the beauty with which his age might still be crowned. He was happier, doubtless, ...
— The Golden Bowl • Henry James

... they laugh and jeer at him. He struggles on, falling frequently despite the assistance of the two men who are holding him, and at length the party emerge from the wood on its far side and find themselves on the spur of the mountain, on barren, rocky, open ground. Now they reach the crest of the spur, and, passing over it, still travelling in an easterly direction, descend into the valley beyond until they reach the margin of a small stream flowing northward. ...
— Harry Escombe - A Tale of Adventure in Peru • Harry Collingwood

... doctor's profession to save life, and there was a life to be saved, if it were possible. But he was nearer to the end than I had thought. Grega was there in that same barren room of the mill-house, doing things in a stolid, undeft sort of way. The bed had been pulled near the stove and the room was stuffier, more untidy than in the days when Lisbeth had been there. The creaky bed, the unvarnished ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... marrying. She wanted to marry but she wanted also not to want it and, above all, not to appear to. She lingered in the room, moving about a little; the place was always so pleasant to her that to go away—to return to her own barren home—had the effect of forfeiting a sort of privilege of sanctuary. The afternoon had faded but the lamps had been brought in, the smell of flowers was in the air and the old house of Plash seemed ...
— A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly • Henry James

... had solemnly betrothed herself to the kingdom at her inauguration,) so all Englishmen were her children, and while she was employed in rearing or governing such a family, she could not deem herself barren, or her life useless and unprofitable: that if she ever entertained thoughts of changing her condition, the care of her subjects' welfare would still be uppermost in her thoughts; but should she live and die ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... down into a perfectly-formed semicircular bay, the spit on which they stood forming one side, a similar spit being on the other about a hundred and fifty yards away, while the whole wore the aspect of a volcanic crater, one side of which had been washed down by the sea, the black jagged rock and barren aspect being suggestive of this having been once the scene of ...
— Mother Carey's Chicken - Her Voyage to the Unknown Isle • George Manville Fenn

... unsatisfied, and not to the poor, the low, the meaner sort, those destitute of the necessaries, conveniences, and pleasures of life; to the frugal, industrious, temperate, laborious, and active, inhabiting barren and uncultivated countries, deserts, and forests under the poles or under the line;—I must, if I am not resolved to resist the strongest conviction, conclude that it must be something received into the body that can produce ...
— Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages • William Andrus Alcott

... glamour which the latter had derived from his apparently public-spirited conduct last term, and the attitude of the Philosophers had effectually deprived him of any opportunity of exercising his authority, and left him to the enjoyment of an altogether barren honour. ...
— Tom, Dick and Harry • Talbot Baines Reed

... Scotland, who are very numerous, were content to reside in their castles and houses, in that bleak and barren climate; and although some of them made frequent journeys to London, yet I do not remember any of their greatest families, till very lately, to have made England their constant habitation, before the Union: Or, if they ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. VI; The Drapier's Letters • Jonathan Swift

... for straw was scarce and dear in those parts; even for thatching, heather (or rather ling) was used. Then there was meat to salt while it could be had; for, in default of turnips and mangold-wurzel, there was a great slaughtering of barren cows as soon as the summer herbage failed; and good housewives stored up their Christmas piece of beef in pickle before Martinmas was over. Corn was to be ground while yet it could be carried to the distant mill; the great racks for oat-cake, that swung at the top of the kitchen, ...
— Sylvia's Lovers, Vol. I • Elizabeth Gaskell

... when it was near the end of the afternoon Florian found himself at the edge of a wild and desolate moor. Within the great circle of the horizon, under the pale sky, not a tree, not a house, not a shepherd's hut even was to be seen—nothing but the great barren waste rolling, rising and falling to the very edge of the world. Lower and lower sank the sun; it grew cold, and a blue mist fell. Twilight came, a ...
— The Firelight Fairy Book • Henry Beston

... troops marched and counter-marched to the call of bugles that have gone silent these hundred years and more. It is a road of varied fortunes, like many of those who have passed over it; it is sometimes rich in all manner of priceless possessions, and again it is barren, poverty-stricken, and desolate. It climbs long hills, sometimes in a roundabout, hesitating, half-hearted way, and sometimes with an abrupt and breathless ascent; at the summit it seems to pause ...
— Under the Trees and Elsewhere • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... love is strong it never tarries to take heed Or know if its return exceed Its gift; in its sweet haste no greed, No strife belong. It hardly asks if it be loved at all, to take So barren seems, when it can make Such bliss, for the beloved's sake, Of ...
— The Family and it's Members • Anna Garlin Spencer

... turtle-doves are invariably sterile both inter se and with either pure parent. The experiment was tried by M. Corbie "avec une espece d'obstination;" and likewise by M. Mauduyt, and by M. Vieillot. Temminck also found the hybrids from these two species quite barren. Therefore, when Bechstein ('Naturgesch. Deutschlands Vogel' b. 4 s. 101) asserts that the hybrids from these two turtle-doves propagate inter se equally well with pure species, and when a writer in the 'Field' newspaper (in a letter dated November 10th, 1858) makes a similar assertion, ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication - Volume I • Charles Darwin

... and letters. Glasgow your founder just knew to be a poor, a small, a rude town, a town, as he would have thought, not likely ever to be great and opulent; for the soil, compared with the rich country at the foot of the Apennines, was barren, and the climate was such that an Italian shuddered at the thought of it. But it is not on the fertility of the soil, it is not on the mildness of the atmosphere, that the prosperity of nations chiefly depends. Slavery and superstition can make Campania a land of beggars, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... contemptuous eye of the world scarcely deigned to notice it. Yet the famous vessel that bore Caesar and his fortunes, carried but an ignoble freight compared with that of the Mayflower. Though landed by a treacherous pilot upon a barren and inhospitable coast, they sought neither richer fields nor a more congenial climate, but liberty ...
— How to Succeed - or, Stepping-Stones to Fame and Fortune • Orison Swett Marden

... of cruel and imperious. My heart was touched with sympathy for the children of misfortune. But this sympathy was not a barren sentiment. My purse, scanty as it was, was ever open, and my hands ever active, to relieve distress. Many were the wretches whom my personal exertions had extricated from want and disease, and who rewarded me with their gratitude. There ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... Samarra is not unlike in character the southern part of Arizona and northern Sonora. There are the same barren hills and the same glaring heat. The soil is not sand, but a fine dust which permeates everything, even the steel uniform-cases which I had always regarded as proof against all conditions. The parching effect was so great that ...
— War in the Garden of Eden • Kermit Roosevelt

... the face of the globe, such as we see in volcanic countries, only differing in the evidence of design that came of long, parallel lines of turned-up soil, which were the trenches wherein hundreds of thousands of men lived under the surface of the ground. Over this barren waste there was almost perpetual smoke, and through the smoke a deafening cannonading, which came of the hurling through the air of scythes of steel, called shells. Sometimes the shells were burying themselves unbroken in the empty earth, but too often they were scouring the trenches, where ...
— The Drama Of Three Hundred & Sixty-Five Days - Scenes In The Great War - 1915 • Hall Caine

... to cling to it as if it was a spar floating on the barren ocean of life and death into which his withered old ...
— Amaryllis at the Fair • Richard Jefferies

... extermination was so merciless that the Queen herself declared that if the work of destruction went on much longer, "she should have nothing left but ashes and corpses to rule over." Then, but not till then, the starving remnant of the Irish people submitted, and England gained a barren victory which has ever since carried with it its ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... matter, you have all been canny enough to have means enough to balance all that barren moorland. You are a richer man than I shall ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... instructive and impressive, whether we regard the record with complacency as a noble testimony to the aspiring genius of man, who claims to outlive the sun and the stars, or whether we view it with pity as a melancholy monument of fruitless labour and barren ingenuity expended in prying into that great mystery of which fools profess their knowledge and wise men confess ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... must have come to the King on regarding the picture of the Coronation! I divined the thought that he did not complete, and my eyes filled with tears. Oh, how much I feel and imagine all the ennui given to the King by these barren and unfortunate politics! I detest them more even than the King detests them. Ungrateful offspring of the times, they fly away, rarely leaving even a memory. How much ...
— The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... there is no roundness about save the billows of the Indian Ocean, which everlastingly dash against its side. I'll agree, however, with any chronicler that the cause of the chronic fury of the Indian Ocean at this point is caused through anger. To call that grand if barren promontory after a twopenny-halfpenny Dutch cockle-shell is a gross insult to the thousands of miles of sea between that point and any other land. Fortunately the little Dutch vessel had a name which sounds all right if only pronounced in plain English—Lioness ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol 2 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... painter's dye! The harp of strained and tuneless chord, How to the minstrel's skill reply! To aching eyes each landscape lowers, To feverish pulse each gale blows chill, And Araby's or Eden's bowers Were barren as this moorland hill,"— ...
— Essays in Little • Andrew Lang

... these barren miserable plains I met with four natives, as impoverished and wretched looking as the country they inhabited. As soon as they saw us they took to their heels, apparently in great alarm, but as I was anxious to find out from them if ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre



Words linked to "Barren" :   infertile, wilderness, sterile, heath, inhospitable, nonexistent, unfertile, heathland, wild



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