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Pronunciation: aw′tō-klāv


  1. An apparatus for sterilization by steam under pressure consisting of a strong closed boiler in which are placed a small quantity of water and a wire basket holding the articles to be sterilized.
  2. To sterilize in an autoclave.

[auto- + L. clavis, a key, in the sense of self-locking]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.