stultify

verb stul·ti·fy \ ˈstəl-tə-ˌfī \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of stultify

stultified; stultifying
transitive verb
1 archaic : to allege or prove to be of unsound mind and hence not responsible
2 : to cause to appear or be stupid, foolish, or absurdly illogical
3 a : to impair, invalidate, or make ineffective : negate
b : to have a dulling or inhibiting effect on

stultification

play \ˌstəl-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən\ noun

Examples of stultify in a Sentence

  1. The government has been stultified by bureaucracy.

Recent Examples of stultify from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stultify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Stupid or absurd behavior can be almost laughable at times. That’s the kind of situation depicted in an 1871 London Daily News article, describing how a witness "stultified himself" by admitting that he was too far off to hear what he had claimed to have heard. But there is nothing especially funny about the now-archaic original usage of "stultify." The word was first used in the mid-1700s in legal contexts, where if you stultified yourself, you claimed to be of unsound mind and thus not responsible for your acts. Nor is there humor in the most common meaning of "stultify" nowadays, that of rendering someone or something useless or ineffective.

Origin and Etymology of stultify

Late Latin stultificare to make foolish, from Latin stultus foolish; akin to Latin stolidus stolid

STULTIFY Defined for English Language Learners

stultify

verb

Definition of stultify for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (someone or something) to become dull, slow, etc.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stultify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to make fruitful or productive

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!