Definition of cauterize in English:


(British cauterise)


[with object]
  • Burn the skin or flesh of (a wound) with a heated instrument or caustic substance in order to stop bleeding or to prevent infection.

    ‘I'll freeze the hand and cauterize the wound’
    • ‘The man cauterized the wound, stopping the blood loss.’
    • ‘The heat cauterizes the wound; there's little chance for infection’
    • ‘Where did they find the instruments needed to cauterize wounds?’
    • ‘Any bleeding is immediately cauterized with an arthroscopic electrocautery tip.’
    • ‘All of her wounds had been cauterized by the flash burns, which kept her from bleeding to death.’
    burn, sear, singe, scorch
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French cauteriser, from late Latin cauterizare, from Greek kautēriazein, from kautērion ‘branding iron’, from kaiein ‘to burn’.