Definition of "sterilize" [ster•il•ize]

  • To make free from live bacteria or other microorganisms. (verb-transitive)
  • To deprive (a person or an animal) of the ability to produce offspring, as by removing the reproductive organs. (verb-transitive)
  • To make incapable of bearing fruit or germinating. (verb-transitive)
  • To render (land) unfruitful. (verb-transitive)
  • Economics To place (gold) in safekeeping so as not to affect the supply of money or credit. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "sterilize" in a sentence
  • "LUI: General Grange, the word sterilize has been used in the process as they go through the southern parts of Lebanon."
  • "Steel is easy to clean and sterilize, which is invaluable when sharing a toy."
  • "However, IMF conditionalities often require recipient governments to 'sterilize' the injection of additional resources so they do not increase the level of demand in the national economy."