transitive verb ster·il·ize \ˈster-ə-ˌlīz\

: to clean (something) by destroying germs or bacteria

: to make (someone or something) unable to produce children, young animals, etc.


Full Definition of STERILIZE

:  to make sterile: as
a :  to cause (land) to become unfruitful
b (1) :  to deprive of the power of reproducing <surgically sterilize cats and dogs>
(2) :  to make incapable of germination
c :  to make powerless or useless usually by restraining from a normal function, relation, or participation
d :  to free from living microorganisms
ster·il·i·za·tion \ˌster-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən\ noun
ster·il·iz·er \ˈster-ə-ˌlī-zər\ noun

Examples of STERILIZE

  1. The organization encourages people to sterilize their cats and dogs.

First Known Use of STERILIZE



transitive verb ster·il·ize   (Medical Dictionary)
ster·il·ized also British ster·il·isedster·il·iz·ing also British ster·il·is·ing

Medical Definition of STERILIZE

:  to make sterile: a :  to deprive of the power of reproducing b :  to free from living microorganisms (as by the use of physical or chemical agents) <sterilize a surgical instrument>
ster·il·iza·tion \ˌster-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən\ also British ster·il·isa·tion \-ˌlī-ˈ\ noun

Variants of STERILIZE

ster·il·ize also British ster·il·ise \ˈster-ə-ˌlīz\


Next Word in the Dictionary: Sterkfontein ape–manPrevious Word in the Dictionary: sterilizableAll Words Near: sterilize
February 28, 2015
pontificate Hear it
To speak pompously or dogmatically
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears