Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To burn or sear with a cautery.
  • transitive v. To deaden, as to feelings or moral scruples; callous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To burn, sear, or freeze tissue using a hot iron, electric current or a caustic agent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To burn or sear with a cautery or caustic.
  • transitive v. To sear, as the conscience.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To burn or sear with fire or a hot iron, or with caustics, as morbid flesh.
  • To sear, in a figurative sense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. burn, sear, or freeze (tissue) using a hot iron or electric current or a caustic agent
  • v. make insensitive or callous; deaden feelings or morals

Etymologies

Middle English cauterizen, from Late Latin cautērizāre, to cauterize, brand, from Latin cautērium, cautery; see cautery.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French cauteriser, from Late Latin cauterizare ("to burn with a hot iron"), from Ancient Greek καυτηριάζω (kautēriazō, "to brand"), from καυτήρ (kautēr, "branding iron"), from καίειν (kaiein, "to burn"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Sources who tracked the investigation tell Newsmax that the main target of the breach was the Obama passport file, and that the contractor accessed the file in order to "cauterize" the records of potentially embarrassing information.

    Nice Deb

  • "Sources who tracked the investigation tell Newsmax that the main target of the breach was the Obama passport file, and that the contractor accessed the file in order to 'cauterize' the records of potentially embarrassing information.

    Latest Articles

  • He was using it to cauterize little capillaries that were sprouting in the inner chest.

    Manifesting Michelangelo

  • For though I may have been able to cheat it, in the end the comfort gained could well cauterize the wound of love, and limp the iron endurance required of a courier.

    Mandala « A Fly in Amber

  • We must get stuff out into the open, tear the scab off this wound, apply a stinging astringent to it, and cauterize it with a blowtorch.

    Silpa Kovvali: Tiger Brother: An Interview With Wesley Yang

  • The rain cannot cauterize the burning, the flames that engulf my skin.

    ASTRUM EXURO • by Rhiannon Morgan

  • Like a knife slash, we can cauterize and stitch up the cut, stopping the bleeding -- but we still have to wait to find out just how deep and lasting the scar that forms will be.

    Daniel Dicker: Economic Wounds of the Debt Debate Won't Heal Quickly

  • By doing this, we cauterize ourselves from the full range of what it means to be human, effectively castrated from all but the most superficial feelings.

    Society and Death « Colleen Anderson

  • By cauterizing the public access to signature signers he will turn around and cauterize the ballot process from being used as weapons against groups of people.

    McKenna’s SCOTUS Brief is Poorly Written « PubliCola

  • It uses ultrasound to detect internal injuries such as torn arteries (by spotting the flow of blood), then focuses much more powerful beams of ultrasound onto the injured tissue to cook it (oh, all right, “cauterize” it), sealing the tear.

    Ten sci-fi gadgets that may soon be real: Part 1

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.