Ster"il*ize(?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sterilized (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sterilizing (?).] [Cf. F. striliser.] 1. To make sterile or unproductive; to impoverish, as land; to exhaust of fertility. [R.] "Sterilizing the earth." Woodward.
2. (Biol.) To deprive of the power of reproducing; to render incapable of germination or fecundation; to make sterile.
(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.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
4. To destroy all spores or germs on (a surface) by wetting with an antiseptic liquid, such as an alcoholic solution.
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Fri 23rd July 2021