Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

sterilize  - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] sterilize pronunciation in British English /ˈsterəlaɪz/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesterilizing
past tensesterilized
past participlesterilized
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to kill all the bacteria on or in something and to make it completely clean, for example by heating it to a very high temperature. Equipment is sterilized in a machine called a sterilizer.

derived word


 sterilize pronunciation in British English /ˌsterəlaɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/ noun [countable/uncountable]
Word Forms

bit rot

when electronic information is lost because the software or devices needed to read it are no longer available

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog