cauterize

To cauterize is to seal off a wound or incision by burning it or freezing it, usually a hot iron, electricity, or chemicals. Metaphorically, it means to make less sensitive to feelings and emotions.

Cauterize is usually a medical term. In surgery, using an electrical tool to cauterize the incision seals off blood vessels, resulting in a cleaner operation that heals more easily. Extreme cold, electricity, and chemicals are also used outside the body cauterize, or "burn off," warts and vessels that cause nosebleeds.

DEFINITIONS OF: cauterize

1

v burn, sear, or freeze (tissue) using a hot iron or electric current or a caustic agent

“The surgeon cauterized the wart”
Synonyms:
burn, cauterise
Type of:
care for, treat
provide treatment for

v make insensitive or callous; deaden feelings or morals

Synonyms:
callous, cauterise
Type of:
harden, indurate, inure
cause to accept or become hardened to; habituate

WORD FORMS

alternate spellings

cauterise
cauterize
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES