What does sterilize mean?

Definitions for sterilize
ˈstɛr əˌlaɪzster·il·ize

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sterilize.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sterilize, steriliseverb

    make free from bacteria

  2. sterilize, sterilise, desex, unsex, desexualize, desexualise, fixverb

    make infertile

    "in some countries, people with genetically transmissible disabilites are sterilized"


  1. Sterilizeverb

    To destroy all spores or germs on (a surface) by wetting with an antiseptic liquid, such as an alcoholic solution.

  2. Sterilizeverb

    (Biol.) To deprive of the power of reproducing; to render incapable of germination or fecundation; to make sterile.3. (Microbiology, Medicine) To destroy all spores or germs in (an organic fluid or mixture) or on (a medical instrument), as by heat, so as to prevent contamination by bacteria or other organisms. A common method of sterilization in laboratories and medical facilities is to heat a liquid sample or an instrument in an autoclave.


  1. sterilizeverb

    To deprive a male or female the ability to procreate.

  2. sterilizeverb

    To make unable to produce. To make unprofitable.

  3. sterilizeverb

    To kill, deactivate (denature), or destroy (break apart) all living, viable microorganisms and spores that would be on a surface, in a fluid, or contained in a compound, such as culture media or a medical product.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Sterilizeverb

    To make barren; to deprive of fecundity, or the power of production.

    Etymology: from steril.

    May we not as well suppose the sterilizing the earth was suspended for some time, ’till the deluge became the executioner of it? John Woodward, Natural History.

    Go! sterilize the fertile with thy rage. Richard Savage.


  1. sterilize

    Sterilize generally refers to the process of eliminating, killing, deactivating, or removing all forms of life and other biological agents like fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, prions, etc., present on a surface, contained in a fluid, in medication, or in a compound such as biological culture media. This is often done by using methods such as heat, chemicals, irradiation, high pressure, or filtration. Sterilization can be applied in various fields like medicine, microbiology, veterinary science, etc.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sterilizeverb

    to make sterile or unproductive; to impoverish, as land; to exhaust of fertility

  2. Sterilizeverb

    to deprive of the power of reproducing; to render incapable of germination or fecundation; to make sterile

  3. Sterilizeverb

    to destroy all spores or germs in (an organic fluid or mixture), as by heat, so as to prevent the development of bacterial or other organisms

  4. Etymology: [Cf. F. striliser.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. sterilize

    1. In naval mine warfare, to permanently render a mine incapable of firing by means of a device (e.g., sterilizer) within the mine. 2. (DOD only) To remove from material to be used in covert and clandestine operations, marks or devices which can identify it as emanating from the sponsoring nation or organization.

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How to pronounce sterilize?

How to say sterilize in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sterilize in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sterilize in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of sterilize in a Sentence

  1. Anthony Rossi:

    Heat is going to make the bacteria grow. It’s not hot enough to sterilize them, it’s really the washing with soap and water (that you need) — and with hot water, especially, because it’s going to help loosen that dirt and sebum and really get rid of bacteria.

  2. Ron Hood:

    What we are concerned about here is that Ohio's most vulnerable children are being subjected to experimental, unproven and expensive treatments and surgeries, this bill is dealing with children under 18, who would be subjected to these procedures which are irreversible, and these decisions are obviously being made by children. The best suicide prevention is to cure and guide, not to sterilize.

  3. Vanna Bonta:

    As the author of a work, I don't relinquish author-ity to just any critic, particularly not to people whose work I've not read or don't respect; those biased by envy are the least relevant, and grounded grammarians who strangle or sterilize under a banner of superiority are a close second.

  4. F. Scott Fitzgerald:

    Either you think -- or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.

  5. Jim Hill:

    I've never seen a bill that attempted to sterilize a person, male or female.

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Translations for sterilize

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"sterilize." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sterilize>.

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