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

  • n. An agent or instrument used to destroy abnormal tissue by burning, searing, or scarring, including caustic substances, electric currents, lasers, and very hot or very cold instruments.
  • n. The act or process of cauterizing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The process of using either extreme heat or extreme cold to either cut or seal body tissue.
  • n. A device used for cutting or sealing body tissue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A burning or searing, as of morbid flesh, with a hot iron, or by application of a caustic that will burn, corrode, or destroy animal tissue.
  • n. The iron of other agent in cauterizing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A burning or searing, as of morbid flesh, by a hot iron or by caustic substances that burn, corrode, or destroy the solid parts of an animal body.
  • n. The instrument or drug employed in cauterizing.

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

  • n. an instrument or substance used to destroy tissue for medical reasons (eg removal of a wart) by burning it with a hot iron or an electric current or a caustic or by freezing it
  • n. the act of coagulating blood and destroying tissue with a hot iron or caustic agent or by freezing


Middle English cauterie, from Latin cautērium, branding iron, cautery, from Greek kautērion, from kaiein, kau-, to burn.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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