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.
- Also especially British, ster·i·lise .
- ster·i·liz·a·ble, adjective
- ster·i·liz·a·bil·i·ty, noun
- ster·i·liz·er, noun
- pre·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, adjective
- un·ster·i·lized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sterilize in a sentence
He adds that Thackeray expressed a wish, which he allowed Cruikshank to sterilise, to print the ballad with illustrations.George Cruikshank | W. H. Chesson
This nut should be immersed in boiling water for a few minutes previous to screwing on, in order to sterilise it.
Sterilise the adjacent portion of the aluminium handle by passing it rapidly twice or thrice through the flame.
Sterilise in the steamer at 100° C. for twenty minutes on each of five consecutive days.
Sterilise in the steamer at 100° C. for twenty minutes on each of three consecutive days.
British Dictionary definitions for sterilize
(tr) to render sterile; make infertile or barren
- sterilizable or sterilisable, adjective
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