Barren vs Foreboding - What's the difference?

barren | foreboding |

As nouns the difference between barren and foreboding

is that barren is bar while foreboding is a sense of evil to come.

As an adjective foreboding is

of ominous significance; serving as an ill omen; foretelling of harm or difficulty.

As a verb foreboding is





  • (label) Unable to bear children; sterile.
  • I silently wept as my daughter's husband rejected her. What would she do now that she was no longer a maiden but also barren ?
  • Of poor fertility, infertile; not producing vegetation.
  • * (1800–1859)
  • barren mountain tracts
  • * '>citation
  • Bleak.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1922, author=(Michael Arlen), title= “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days, chapter=Ep./4/2
  • , passage=As they turned into Hertford Street they startled a robin from the poet's head on a barren fountain, and he fled away with a cameo note.}}
  • Unproductive; fruitless; unprofitable; empty.
  • * (1796-1859)
  • brilliant but barren reveries
  • * (Jonathan Swift) (1667–1745)
  • Some schemes will appear barren of hints and matter.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=September 2, author=Phil McNulty, work=BBC
  • , title= Bulgaria 0-3 England , passage=Rooney had been suffered a barren spell for England with only one goal in 15 games but he was in no mood to ignore the gifts on offer in front of an increasingly subdued Bulgarian support.}}
  • Mentally dull; stupid.
  • * (William Shakespeare), (Hamlet), III.ii. ca. 1602
  • Set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too.


    * sterile


    * fertile * fruitful


    (en noun)
  • An area of low fertility and habitation, a desolate place.
  • The pine barrens are a site lonely enough to suit any hermit.



    Alternative forms

    * forboding (much less commonly used)


    (en noun)
  • A sense of evil to come.
  • * 1956 — , The City and the Stars , p 41
  • A sense of foreboding , the like of which he had never known before, hung heavily on him.
  • An evil omen.
  • Synonyms

    * augury


    (en adjective)
  • Of ominous significance; serving as an ill omen; foretelling of harm or difficulty.
  • Verb