Definition of cautery in US English:


nounPlural cauteries

  • 1An instrument or a caustic substance used for cauterizing.

    • ‘There are other things on the drawing board such as using radio surgical instruments and thermal instruments as cauteries that should produce very good results.’
    • ‘A bipolar cautery, indelible black marker, and test stimulation equipment and programmer should be available.’
    • ‘The other methods of body contouring involve the removal of skin and fat primarily by direct incision using scalpel, cautery, CO2 lasers have been used, and any form of direct removal.’
    1. 1.1 The action of cauterizing something.
      • ‘Providers at two centres used thermal cautery, and those at the remaining two used electrocautery.’
      • ‘Radiofrequency ablation is the targeted cautery of cardiac tissue by local application of radiofrequency energy.’
      • ‘Treatment includes excision or shave excision with curettage and cautery.’
      • ‘Thermal cautery may produce a lower incidence of sperm granuloma than electrocautery (grade B evidence).’
      • ‘Although a cautery usually is not needed, the nurse places an electrosurgical unit dispersive pad on the patient's thigh.’


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek kautērion ‘branding iron’ (see cauterize).