vit·​ri·​fy ˈvi-trə-ˌfī How to pronounce vitrify (audio)
vitrified; vitrifying

transitive verb

: to convert into glass or a glassy substance by heat and fusion
vitrifiable adjective
vitrification noun

Examples of vitrify in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The lightning’s electrical discharge had vitrified the nearby sand into a rock called fulgurite, prized by crystal healers as an extremely high-energy stone. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2023 The eggs are then placed in a petri dish alongside sperm, and fertilization and embryo development are monitored for several days before transferring the embryo(s) into the uterus or vitrifying them for a future transfer. Kae Zaino, Outside Online, 26 June 2019 The decision to vitrify Hanford waste was made right after production of plutonium stopped in 1987. Valerie Brown, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2018 Fertility experts use extreme cooling to vitrify immature human eggs and embryos, better preserving them. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, 26 Nov. 2018 The borosilicate glass selected for the task is adaptable enough to vitrify when any of a number of chemical additives are added to the recipe. Valerie Brown, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2018 In one case, researchers said the heat was enough to vitrify the brain of a body in Herculaneum, turning it into a hard glasslike substance, as the temperature reached 968 degrees Fahrenheit. Katrina Lau, NBC News, 2 Dec. 2021 Nearby scraps of burned wood suggest temperatures could have reached as high as 998 degrees Fahrenheit—certainly hot enough to vitrify soft tissue, National Geographic reports. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 24 Jan. 2020 Other researchers have identified some glassy black material found in Herculaneum as the brain matter of one of the victims, vitrified by the eruption’s pyroclastic flow—burning clouds of gas and ash. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, 10 Feb. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vitrify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French vitrifier, from Latin vitrum glass

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of vitrify was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near vitrify

Cite this Entry

“Vitrify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

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