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[kaw-tuh-rahyz] /ˈkɔ təˌraɪz/
verb (used with object), cauterized, cauterizing.
to burn with a hot iron, electric current, fire, or a caustic, especially for curative purposes; treat with a cautery.
Also, especially British, cauterise.
Origin of cauterize
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin cautērizāre to brand, equivalent to cautēr- (< Greek kautḗr branding iron, equivalent to kau-, variant stem of kaíein to burn (cf. caustic), + -tēr agent suffix) + -izāre -ize
Related forms
cauterization, noun
uncauterized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cauterize
Historical Examples
  • He can take nothing away, but only cauterize and neutralize, he says, so why not let him try?

    Death of a Spaceman Walter M. Miller
  • I had no caustic with me, so I determined to cauterize it with boiling grease.

    Sport in Abyssinia Dermot Mayo
  • Besides this, they also bleed the patient and cauterize the wound.

  • Well, I offered to cauterize it with the poker in the office stove.

    Annajanska, the Bolshevik Empress George Bernard Shaw
  • Take care, he says, not to cauterize the nerves in the neighborhood, for this will add a new ailment to the patient's affection.

  • He knew his danger and deliberately fired, hoping to cauterize the wound and drive out the poison.

    On Secret Service William Nelson Taft
  • "Any woman who has a conscience like that ought to cauterize it—with a curling-iron—and get rid of it," he observed dryly.

    Amazing Grace Kate Trimble Sharber
  • Gerard coloured a little, and told him the learned doctor was going to flebotomize him and cauterize him; that was all.

  • Gerard coloured a little and told him the learned doctor was going to flebotomize him and cauterize him; that was all.

  • If a surgeon is at hand he would probably cut out the injured portion, or cauterize it thoroughly.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
British Dictionary definitions for cauterize


(transitive) (esp in the treatment of a wound) to burn or sear (body tissue) with a hot iron or caustic agent
Derived Forms
cauterization, cauterisation, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French cauteriser, from Late Latin cautērizāre, from cautērium branding iron, from Greek kautērion, from kaiein to burn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cauterize

c.1400, from Old French cauterisier, from Late Latin cauterizare "to burn or brand with a hot iron," from Greek kauteriazein, from kauter "burning or branding iron," from kaiein "to burn" (see caustic). Related: Cauterized; cauterizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cauterize in Medicine

cauterize cau·ter·ize (kô'tə-rīz')
v. cau·ter·ized, cau·ter·iz·ing, cau·ter·iz·es
To burn or sear with a cautery.

cau'ter·i·za'tion (-tər-ĭ-zā'shən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cauterize in Science
To burn or sear with a cautery, as in surgical procedures.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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