∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.29 ∞
Destruction and/or removal of all living things, which in practice means all microorganisms.
Application of heat is the most common means of effecting sterilization though chemical sterilants also exist as too can various forms of radiation, especially ionizing radiation, effect sterilization, that is, serve as a sterilant. Contrast with disinfection.
Note that in sterilizing it is often the endospores, mycocbateria, and naked viruses that are most resistant to killing.