ster·​il·​ant | \ ˈster-ə-lənt How to pronounce sterilant (audio) \
plural sterilants

Definition of sterilant

: an agent used for sterilizing something: such as
a : a substance or preparation (such as ethylene oxide gas or hydrogen peroxide) that destroys or inactivates all types of microorganisms

Note: Sterilants are often distinguished from disinfectants by being effective against dormant bacterial endospores.

The substance, a colorless gas, is used widely as a fumigant, sterilant, and pesticide …— R. Jeffrey Smith
b : an agent that makes a living organism incapable of reproduction chemical insect sterilants

Examples of sterilant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a conference call with reporters, NASA Glenn research aerospace engineer Marit Meyer said the existing product works on pre-hospital environments, after they are cleaned and wiped down, by depositing sterilant on surfaces. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, 24 Apr. 2020 Another goal is to minimize the amount of sterilant the device uses to reduce costs without sacrificing effectiveness. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, 24 Apr. 2020

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

First Known Use of sterilant

1913, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About sterilant

Time Traveler for sterilant

Time Traveler

The first known use of sterilant was in 1913

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near sterilant




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sterilant

Cite this Entry

“Sterilant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sterilant


ster·​il·​ant | \ ˈster-ə-lənt How to pronounce sterilant (audio) \

Medical Definition of sterilant

: a sterilizing agent


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!