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autoclave

[aw-tuh-kleyv]
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noun
  1. a heavy vessel for conducting chemical reactions under high pressure.
  2. pressure cooker.
  3. Medicine/Medical, Bacteriology. an apparatus in which steam under pressure effects sterilization.
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verb (used with object), au·to·claved, au·to·clav·ing.
  1. to place in an autoclave.
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Origin of autoclave

1875–80; < French, equivalent to auto- auto-1 + clave < Latin clāv-, stem of clāvis key and clāvus nail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for autoclave

autoclave

noun
  1. a strong sealed vessel used for chemical reactions at high pressure
  2. an apparatus for sterilizing objects (esp surgical instruments) or for cooking by means of steam under pressure
  3. civil engineering a vessel in which freshly cast concrete or sand-lime bricks are cured very rapidly in high-pressure steam
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verb
  1. (tr) to put in or subject to the action of an autoclave
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Word Origin

C19: from French auto- + -clave, from Latin clāvis key
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

Word Origin and History for autoclave

n.

1880, from French, literally "self-locking," from auto- "self" (see auto-) + Latin clavis "key" (see slot (n.2)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

autoclave in Medicine

autoclave

tō-klāv′)
n.
  1. A pressurized, steam-heated vessel used for sterilization.
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v.
  1. To treat in an autoclave.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

autoclave in Science

autoclave

tō-klāv′]
  1. An airtight steel vessel used to heat substances and objects under very high pressures. Autoclaves are used in laboratory experiments and for sterilization.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.