Definition of sterilant in US English:



  • 1An agent used to destroy microorganisms; a disinfectant.

    • ‘Failure to do so will result in disinfection failure because the disinfectant / sterilant may not be exposed to all surfaces of the endoscope.’
    • ‘The sterilant also may not penetrate the wood completely.’
    • ‘The bottling and corking machines are usually sterilized by steam, or by chemical sterilants.’
    • ‘Triclosan (also found in some toothpastes) is a common active ingredient in washing-up liquids, and hydrogen peroxide is used as a sterilant for babies' feeding bottles.’
    • ‘She noted that an important step in the sterilization process is to ensure that all internal surfaces of an item are exposed to high-level disinfectants or sterilants during the process.’
    • ‘If an instrument is clamped closed, the sterilant may not reach all surfaces.’
    • ‘If the tape was not porous, the sterilant would be unable to permeate.’
    • ‘The tape should not overlap, because multiple layers of tape may not be permeated by the sterilant.’
    • ‘Select a disinfectant / sterilant that has no deleterious effects on the items to be sterilized.’
    • ‘Ethylene oxide was introduced in the 1950s and is a suitable sterilant for heat- and moisture-sensitive items.’
    • ‘An environmental pollutant and known mutagen and carcinogen in experimental animals and in humans, ethylene oxide is a widely used industrial chemical and sterilant of medical equipment.’
    • ‘Concentrations of skin antiseptics and preservatives, although lower than disinfectants and sterilants, also demonstrate bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects versus nonsusceptible vegetative pathogens.’
    1. 1.1 A chemical agent used to destroy pests and diseases in the soil, especially fungi and nematodes.
      • ‘Some strong herbicides, such as soil sterilants used in alleyways, around utility equipment, or along sidewalks, can be absorbed by roots and easily can kill trees.’