cau·​ter·​ize | \ ˈkȯ-tə-ˌrīz How to pronounce cauterize (audio) \
cauterized; cauterizing

Definition of cauterize

transitive verb

1 : to sear with a cautery or caustic cauterize a wound
2 : to make insensible : deaden They will do anything to stay in office; their consciences have been cauterized.

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Other Words from cauterize

cauterization \ ˌkȯ-​tə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce cauterization (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cauterize



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Examples of cauterize in a Sentence

The doctors cauterized the wound. time had cauterized his bitterness, and he was willing to let bygones be bygones
Recent Examples on the Web First, the brain is mostly freed from the skull; all the dangling arteries, save the carotids, are cauterized or sutured. Matthew Shaer, New York Times, "Scientists Are Giving Dead Brains New Life. What Could Go Wrong?," 2 July 2019 Debate — philosophically and physiologically — makes us human, whereas dogma cauterizes our potential as a species. Bettany Hughes, New York Times, "How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World," 8 June 2018 Even after multiple rounds of tumor-removal surgery using a cauterizing carbon dioxide laser, persistent tumor regrowth is a recurring problem in infected sea turtles. Jessica Alice Farrell, Smithsonian, "Should We Share Human Cancer Treatments With Tumorous Turtles?," 11 July 2018 My thoughts on the matter are: A) Ghost Nation is secretly the good guys, and B) Lee Sizemore will make up for betraying Maeve by cauterizing all her wounds. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "Westworld Just Debuted It's Most Confusing and Mind-Blowing Episode Yet," 4 June 2018 In response, vaccine teams scrambled to the affected states to administer 2.4 million vaccine doses, hoping to cauterize the epidemiological wound before any cases of actual paralysis could turn up. Time, "How Nigeria's Start-Stop Immunization Battle Is Winning the War to Eradicate Polio in Africa," 5 May 2018 Members of the group have identified Roberts as the physician who branded them in the pubic area with a cauterizing iron to form a scar spelling K-R-A-M — Raniere's and Mack's initials. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Doctor accused of branding women in sex cult worked at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital," 30 Apr. 2018 The women, who were allegedly forced to give up collateral in the form of nude photographs and family secrets to join the group, were branded by a cauterizing pen with a logo containing Raniere's initials, according to prosecutors. Jon Campbell, USA TODAY, "Allison Mack of 'Smallville' gets $5M bail, home confinement in sex-cult case," 24 Apr. 2018 Her eye injuries were cauterized to seal them, and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Mike Ellis, USA TODAY, "In her words: Kaylee Muthart explains what made her pull out her eyes," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cauterize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cauterize

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cauterize

see cautery

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Time Traveler for cauterize

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The first known use of cauterize was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Cauterize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for cauterize


How to pronounce cauterize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cauterize

medical : to burn (something, such as a wound) with heat or a chemical substance in order to destroy infected tissue


transitive verb
variants: or British cauterise \ ˈkȯt-​ə-​ˌrīz How to pronounce cauterise (audio) \
cauterized or British cauterised; cauterizing or British cauterising

Medical Definition of cauterize

: to sear with a cautery or caustic

Other Words from cauterize

cauterization or British cauterisation \ ˌkȯt-​ə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce cauterisation (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on cauterize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cauterize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cauterize

Spanish Central: Translation of cauterize

Nglish: Translation of cauterize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cauterize

What made you want to look up cauterize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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