[ kaw-tuh-rahyz ]
/ ˈkɔ təˌraɪz /

verb (used with object), cau·ter·ized, cau·ter·iz·ing.

to burn with a hot iron, electric current, fire, or a caustic, especially for curative purposes; treat with a cautery.
Also especially British, cau·ter·ise.

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


cau·ter·i·za·tion, nounun·cau·ter·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cauterise

  • But I hardly think this can be so, for it is extremely doubtful if a bullet ever gets hot enough to cauterise flesh.

  • The young woman understood this, and she endeavoured to cauterise the bad place with the fire of her caresses.

    Therese Raquin|Emile Zola
  • To cauterise the track and so prevent bleeding, the needles should be slowly withdrawn while the current is flowing.

    Manual of Surgery|Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
  • Does not the surgeon also cauterise and cut us for our good?


British Dictionary definitions for cauterise



/ (ˈkɔːtəˌraɪz) /


(tr) (esp in the treatment of a wound) to burn or sear (body tissue) with a hot iron or caustic agent

Derived forms of cauterize

cauterization or cauterisation, noun

Word Origin for cauterize

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

Medicine definitions for cauterise

[ kôtə-rīz′ ]


To burn or sear with a cautery.

Other words from cauterize

cau′ter•i•zation (-tər-ĭ-zāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for cauterise

[ kôtə-rīz′ ]

To burn or sear with a cautery, as in surgical procedures.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.