[ kaw-tuh-rahyz ]
See synonyms for cauterize on
verb (used with object),cau·ter·ized, cau·ter·iz·ing.
  1. to burn with a hot iron, electric current, fire, or a caustic, especially for curative purposes; treat with a cautery.

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
  • Also especially British, cau·ter·ise .

Other words from cauterize

  • cau·ter·i·za·tion, noun
  • un·cau·ter·ized, adjective

Words Nearby cauterize Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cauterize in a sentence

  • Before deciding to cauterize, it is necessary to ascertain the extent of area affected.

    Lameness of the Horse | John Victor Lacroix
  • In this dangerous Indian climate, where everything grows putrid, they are frequently constrained to cauterize the sores.

    The Bird | Jules Michelet

British Dictionary definitions for cauterize



/ (ˈkɔːtəˌraɪz) /

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

Origin of cauterize

C14: from Old French cauteriser, from Late Latin cautērizāre, from cautērium branding iron, from Greek kautērion, from kaiein to burn

Derived forms of cauterize

  • cauterization or cauterisation, noun

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

Scientific definitions for cauterize


[ tə-rīz′ ]

  1. 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.