verb (used with object), ster·i·lized, ster·i·liz·ing.
to destroy microorganisms in or on, usually by bringing to a high temperature with steam, dry heat, or boiling liquid.
to destroy the ability of (a person or animal) to reproduce by removing the sex organs or inhibiting their functions.
to make (land) barren or unproductive.
Informal. to delete or remove anything comprising or damaging from: to sterilize a government document before releasing it to the press.
Informal. to isolate or completely protect from unwanted, unauthorized, or unwholesome activities, attitudes, influences, etc.: You can't sterilize children against violence.
chemical castrationRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
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- sterile cyst,
- sterling area,
- sterling bloc
Also especially British, ster·i·lise.
Origin of sterilize
ster·i·liz·a·ble, adjectivester·i·liz·a·bil·i·ty, nounster·i·liz·er, nounpre·ster·i·lize, verb (used with object), pre·ster·i·lized, pre·ster·i·liz·ing.
re·ster·i·lize, verb (used with object), re·ster·i·lized, re·ster·i·liz·ing.self-ster·i·lized, adjectiveun·ster·i·lized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
(tr) to render sterile; make infertile or barren
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
To make free from live bacteria or other microorganisms.
To deprive a person or animal of the ability to produce offspring, as by removing the reproductive organs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.