Petrify meaning

pĕtrə-fī
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.

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To convert (wood or other organic matter) into a stony replica by petrifaction.
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To cause to lose vitality or become impervious to change; deaden.

A routine that petrified her thinking.

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To stun or paralyze with terror; daze.
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To replace the normal cells of (organic matter) with silica or other mineral deposits; re-form as a stony substance.
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To make rigid, inflexible, or inert; harden or deaden.
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To paralyze or make numb, as with fear; stupefy; stun.
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To become petrified.
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To harden organic matter by permeating with water and depositing dissolved minerals.
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To produce rigidness akin to stone.
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(intransitive) To become stone, or of a stony hardness, as organic matter by calcareous deposits.
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(intransitive, figuratively) To become stony, callous, or obdurate.
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(figuratively) To make callous or obdurate; to stupefy; to paralyze; to transform; as by petrifaction.
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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