Simple Definition of ossify
: to become or to cause something to become unable to change
: to become or to cause something to become hard like bone
Full Definition of ossify
1 : to change into bone
2 : to become hardened or conventional and opposed to change
1 : to change (as cartilage) into bone
2 : to make rigidly conventional and opposed to change
Examples of ossify in a sentence
The cartilage will ossify, becoming bone.
a disease that ossifies the joints
Did You Know?
The skeletons of mammals originate as soft cartilage that gradually transforms into hard bone (in humans, the process begins in the womb and continues until late adolescence). English speakers have referred to this bone-building process as "ossification" since the late 17th century, and the verb "ossify" arrived soon after the noun. English speakers began to use "ossification" and "ossify" for more figurative types of hardening (such as that of the heart, mind, or soul) in the 19th century. Both words descend from the Latin root os, meaning "bone." "Os" is also an English word that appears in scientific contexts as a synonym of "bone," and the Latin term is an ancestor of the word osseous, which means "consisting of or resembling bone."
Origin and Etymology of ossify
Latin oss-, os + English -ify
First Known Use: 1713
Medical Definition of ossify
intransitive verb: to form or be transformed into bone <cartilage ossified postnatally>
transitive verb: to change (as cartilage) into bone <osteoblasts ossify the tissue>
Seen and Heard
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