Definition of autoclave in English:



  • A strong heated container used for chemical reactions and other processes using high pressures and temperatures, e.g. steam sterilization.

    • ‘For years we had used a pressure-cooker-type autoclave to sterilize obstetric packs, towels, gloves, flats, solutions, and all supplies that we did not wish to boil.’
    • ‘The autoclave machines which sterilise instruments do not work - nothing is sterile, but nobody seems to have detected this.’
    • ‘Instruments and supplies that can't be sterilized with an autoclave should be disinfected with a commercial disinfectant or bleach solution after each use.’
    • ‘It now includes a lab, a small ultrasound machine and the beginnings of an emergency care center with a heart monitor, autoclave for sterilizing instruments and a suction machine for clearing airway blockage.’
    • ‘Incineration, sterilizing by autoclave, or chemical means may be used according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.’
    • ‘Modern tequila production often uses large autoclaves to steam the agave pina instead.’
    • ‘At page 4 it is pointed out that such a temperature will necessitate that the reaction is carried out in a closed system such as an autoclave.’
    • ‘In all cases the part must be subjected to a resin curing phase, normally in an autoclave.’
    • ‘This sterilization is considered effective to kill all the germs and viruses of the guy before you only when these instruments are subjected to pressurized and superheated steam in an autoclave pressure vessel, an expensive gadget.’
    • ‘That included an autoclave for instrument sterilization, an X-ray machine for animal bone-structure assessment, and a vaporizer to accurately measure anesthesia drugs.’
    • ‘In the future, lab technicians will receive more information about the autoclave process to prevent the mistake from happening again.’
    • ‘Are other instruments kept in an autoclave until needed?’
    • ‘The can is then heated in an autoclave, which allows the contents to be heated well above boiling point.’
    • ‘Gravity displacement works on the principle that steam, being lighter than air in the autoclave, will displace the air downward and allow the steam and heat to reach optimum temperature and pressure.’
    • ‘An autoclave or pressure cooker operates on this principle.’
    • ‘All reusable materials, such as the needle bar and the tube, must be completely clean, put into special pouches and sterilized in the autoclave.’
    • ‘They tested their sample by steaming it in an autoclave - used to disinfect medical equipment.’
    • ‘Last November, as the first barrel was baking in the autoclave oven, waiting engineers were clearly nervous.’
    • ‘This technology works on the same principle as an autoclave, using steam for the heating of the material.’
    • ‘An autoclave (generating steam at high pressure) is used for the reusable instruments, like needle bars and tubes.’


[with object]
  • Heat (something) in an autoclave.

    ‘this follows recent advice that dental equipment be autoclaved after consultations’
    • ‘The mixture is then autoclaved for 20 min at 122°C to dissolve the agar and sterilize the medium.’
    • ‘These devices typically can't be autoclaved, which may increase your risk of infection.’
    • ‘Similarly, items such as filter paper were all sterilized by autoclaving.’
    • ‘Electrolyte leakage analysis was performed by conductivity of the bath solution before and after autoclaving.’
    • ‘Our lab manager helpfully suggested we could use regular water and then autoclave it, except that the autoclaves in the building don't work yet.’
    • ‘The solutions and leaves were then autoclaved, and the electrolyte content was measured again.’
    • ‘Some institutions require that waste materials be autoclaved before disposal; others dispose of their waste by incineration.’
    • ‘All blocks were autoclaved prior to testing and placed in a 25-27°C chamber with transverse surfaces exposed to feeder strips.’
    • ‘The HL30 and HL32 products withstand autoclaving.’
    • ‘Studies show that laparoscopic surgery using reusable instruments (eg, trocars, sheaths) and other equipment that is autoclaved and cleaned is significantly less expensive than using disposable instruments and equipment.’
    • ‘However, cooking and autoclaving apparently destroy the lupus-eliciting effects without decreasing the lipid-lowering properties found in the foods.’
    • ‘Efficacy of the treatment was ascertained by autoclaving samples of decoated seeds for 90-95% osmotic distention.’
    • ‘Deionized water, filters, utensils, and vessels used in preparing the washings were autoclaved prior to use.’
    • ‘In some cases the stem segment and/or isolated bark was autoclaved to kill all living cells.’
    • ‘The solution was autoclaved at 121 C for 15 minutes.’
    • ‘All implanted materials were autoclaved before surgery.’
    • ‘The aliquots were autoclaved, mixed well while hot, and poured into Petri dishes.’
    • ‘The source of the smell was autoclaved test tubes, which had been used to grow bacteria called Clostridium sporogenes.’
    clean, make pure, refine, cleanse, decontaminate
    View synonyms


Late 19th century: from French, from auto- ‘self’ + Latin clavus ‘nail’ or clavis ‘key’ (so named because it is self-fastening).