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Alternative forms[edit]


sterile +‎ -ization or sterilize +‎ -ation


  • (file)


sterilization (countable and uncountable, plural sterilizations)

  1. (uncountable) The process of treating something to kill or inactivate microorganisms.
    Heat sterilization is used during canning so the food can be safely stored for long periods.
  2. (uncountable) A procedure to permanently prevent an organism from reproducing.
    Spaying a cat is a form of sterilization to limit the population growth.
  3. (countable) An instance of a sterilization procedure.
    The vet performed several sterilizations this week.
    • 1999, Art Perry, The Tibetans[1], Viking Studio, →ISBN, pages 23–24:
      One of the most shocking aspects of the Chinese occupation is the forced sterilization of Tibetan women. In an article on this subject, the ICLT used my photograph of a nomadic woman with her herd of goats in the Ngari region of western Tibet. In many ways this is one of the more idyllic photographs I have taken. It is a wonderfully warm image that captures the woman in the late-day sun while in the distance yak-hair tents are scattered across a dramatic Tibetan landscape. The accompanying text shatters Shangri-la like a bullet through a stained-glass window: “Gross violations of women’s reproductive freedom are not uncommon in Tibet. Some of the most disturbing reports are of ‘blitz’ campaigns of mobile family planning teams, which have gone into remote villages of Tibet and carried out forced abortions and sterilizations of virtually every woman of child bearing age, regardless of the number of children, age, or health. These barbaric practices, says the Chinese Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Dharamsala, ‘constitute an immediate threat to the survival of Tibetans as a distinct people.'"
  4. (uncountable) A monetary policy operation used to offset a foreign exchange intervention.
    The Federal Reserve is responsible for foreign exchange sterilization.

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