cau·​tery | \ ˈkȯ-tə-rē How to pronounce cautery (audio) \
plural cauteries

Definition of cautery

1 : the act or effect of cauterizing : cauterization
2 : an agent (such as a hot iron or caustic) used to burn, sear, or destroy tissue

Examples of cautery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And a resident started a fire in a Nebraska Medicine operating room by accidentally bringing a cautery too close to a flammable liquid medical adhesive. Max Blau, STAT, 20 Apr. 2018 That type of treatment comes in two forms: Electrocautery, which uses heat from a metal probe, and laser cautery. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, 10 Apr. 2017

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

First Known Use of cautery

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cautery

Latin cauterium, from Greek kautērion branding iron, from kaiein

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Time Traveler for cautery

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

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Cite this Entry

“Cautery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for cautery


cau·​tery | \ ˈkȯt-ə-rē How to pronounce cautery (audio) \
plural cauteries

Medical Definition of cautery

1 : the act or effect of cauterizing : cauterization
2 : a substance or medical device used to burn, sear, or destroy tissue


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