Definition of petrify
1 : to convert (organic matter) into stone or a substance of stony hardness by the infiltration of water and the deposition of dissolved mineral matter
2 : to make rigid or inert like stone:a : to make lifeless or inactive : deaden slogans are apt to petrify a man's thinking — Saturday Rev.b : to confound with fear, amazement, or awe a novel about an airline pilot that will petrify you — Martin Levin
: to become stone or of stony hardness or rigidity
Examples of petrify in a sentence
the processes that petrify wood
The dead tree petrified into stone.
Origin and Etymology of petrify
Middle French petrifier, from petr- + -ifier -ify
First Known Use: 15th century
PETRIFY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of petrify for English Language Learners
: to make (someone) very afraid
: to slowly change (something, such as wood) into stone or a substance like stone over a very long period of time
PETRIFY Defined for Kids
Definition of petrify for Students
1 : to change plant or animal matter into stone or something like stone petrified wood
2 : to frighten very much Lightning petrifies me.
Medical Definition of petrify
transitive verb: to convert (organic matter) into stone or a stony substance
intransitive verb: to become stone or like stone
Seen and Heard
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