Petrify Definition

petrified, petrifies, petrifying
petrified, petrifies, petrifying
To become petrified.
Webster's New World
To replace the normal cells of (organic matter) with silica or other mineral deposits; re-form as a stony substance.
Webster's New World
To make rigid, inflexible, or inert; harden or deaden.
Webster's New World
To paralyze or make numb, as with fear; stupefy; stun.
Webster's New World
Petrify is to change organic matter into something stone like, or to cause extreme fear.
An example of petrify is when wood changes into a stone-like substance over time.
An example of petrify is when a ghost frightens someone nearly to death.

Origin of Petrify

  • Middle English petrifien to harden from Old French petrifier Latin petra rock (from Greek petrā per-2 in Indo-European roots) Old French -fier -fy

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Medieval Latin petrificare, from petra (“rock").

    From Wiktionary

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