from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A strong, pressurized, steam-heated vessel, as for laboratory experiments, sterilization, or cooking.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A strong, pressurized, heated vessel, as for laboratory experiments, sterilization, cooking or mineral processing.
- v. To sterilize laboratory equipment in an autoclave.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A kind of French stewpan with a steam-tight lid.
- n. a device used for sterilizing objects by exposing them to steam at above atmospheric pressure (and thus at a temperature above the normal boiling point of water). It consists of a closed chamber able to withstand internal pressure, and a means of passing superheated steam into the chamber. Autoclaves are made in various sizes, and are much used in hospitals and research laboratories to render instruments and equipment sterile.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A kind of stewpan, the lid of which is kept close and steam-tight by the steam proceeding from the contents of the pan. It is an application to culinary purposes of Papin's digester. See digester.
- n. A form of digester in which mixtures of chemicals can be safely heated under great pressure: largely used in the manufacture of coal-tar dyestuffs.
- n. A device for the sterilization by steam under pressure of bacterial cultures or culture media, milk, and other substances.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a device for heating substances above their boiling point; used to manufacture chemicals or to sterilize surgical instruments
- v. subject to the action of an autoclave
French : Greek auto-, auto- + Latin clāvis, key (from the fact that it is self-locking from the pressurization).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French autoclave, formed with prefix auto- + Latin clavis ("key"). (Wiktionary)