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[ster-uh-luh-zey-shuh n] /ˌstɛr ə ləˈzeɪ ʃən/
the act of sterilizing.
the condition of being sterilized.
the destruction of all living microorganisms, as pathogenic or saprophytic bacteria, vegetative forms, and spores.
Origin of sterilization
First recorded in 1870-75; sterile + -ization
Related forms
nonsterilization, noun
resterilization, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for sterilization


the act or procedure of sterilizing or making sterile
the state of being sterile; sterilized condition
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 sterilization

1874, noun of action from sterilize.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sterilization in Medicine

sterilization ster·il·i·za·tion (stěr'ə-lĭ-zā'shən)

  1. The act or procedure of sterilizing.

  2. The condition of being sterile or sterilized.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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sterilization in Science
  1. The procedure of destroying all microorganisms in or on a given environment, such as a surgical instrument, in order to prevent the spread of infection. This is usually done by using heat, radiation, or chemical agents.

  2. Any of various surgical procedures intended to eliminate the capacity to reproduce in humans or animals.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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sterilization in Culture

sterilization definition

The removal of all microorganisms and other pathogens from an object or surface by treating it with chemicals or subjecting it to high heat or radiation.

Sterilization also refers to procedures that result in infertility. Vasectomies and tubal ligations, in which the fallopian tubes of a woman are tied off, are examples of sterilization techniques.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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