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Definition of AUTOCLAVE
: an apparatus in which special conditions (as high or low pressure or temperature) can be established for a variety of applications; especially: an apparatus (as for sterilizing) using steam under high pressure
Vessel, usually of steel, able to withstand high temperatures and pressures. The chemical industry uses various types of autoclaves in manufacturing dyes and in other chemical reactions requiring high pressures. In bacteriology and medicine, instruments, equipment, supplies, and culture media are sterilized by superheated steam in an autoclave. In 1679 Denis Papin (1647–c. 1712) invented a prototype known as a steam digester; still used in cooking, it is now called a pressure cooker.