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sterilize

[ster-uh-lahyz] /ˈstɛr əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), sterilized, sterilizing.
1.
to destroy microorganisms in or on, usually by bringing to a high temperature with steam, dry heat, or boiling liquid.
2.
to destroy the ability of (a person or animal) to reproduce by removing the sex organs or inhibiting their functions.
3.
to make (land) barren or unproductive.
4.
Informal. to delete or remove anything comprising or damaging from:
to sterilize a government document before releasing it to the press.
5.
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, sterilise.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95; sterile + -ize
Related forms
sterilizable, adjective
sterilizability, noun
sterilizer, noun
presterilize, verb (used with object), presterilized, presterilizing.
resterilize, verb (used with object), resterilized, resterilizing.
self-sterilized, adjective
unsterilized, adjective
Can be confused
impotence, sterility, sterilized.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sterilizing
  • Irradiation has been proposed as a means of sterilizing chicken meat after butchering.
British Dictionary definitions for sterilizing

sterilize

/ˈstɛrɪˌlaɪz/
verb
1.
(transitive) to render sterile; make infertile or barren
Derived Forms
sterilizable, 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
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Word Origin and History for sterilizing

sterilize

v.

"destroy the fertility of," 1690s (in reference to soil), from sterile + -ize; of living things from 1828. Meaning "render free of microorganisms" is from 1878. Related: Sterilized; sterilizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sterilizing in Medicine

sterilize ster·il·ize (stěr'ə-līz')
v. ster·il·ized, ster·il·iz·ing, ster·il·iz·es

  1. To make free from live bacteria or other microorganisms.

  2. To deprive a person or an 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.
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