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

Definition of vitrify

transitive verb

: to convert into glass or a glassy substance by heat and fusion

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Other Words from vitrify

vitrifiable \ ˌvi-​trə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce vitrifiable (audio) \ adjective
vitrification \ ˌvi-​trə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce vitrification (audio) \ noun

Examples of vitrify in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "Damn, Look What Vesuvius Did to This Poor Guy's Brain," 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, "The Terror and the Fascination of Pompeii," 10 Feb. 2020 Once vitrified, the glass moves to an on-site disposal facility. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "The Long Fight to Clean Up America’s Cold War Nuclear Waste," 10 Dec. 2019 Another team’s results in the New England Journal of Medicine made the claim that the pyroclastic flow’s heat vitrified the brain of at least one victim, transforming it into glass that was preserved for centuries. Jennifer Pinkowski, New York Times, "Brains Turned to Glass? Suffocated in Boathouses? Vesuvius Victims Get New Look," 23 Jan. 2020 But this particular victim's brain matter had been vitrified, i.e., fused into glass. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The Mount Vesuvius eruption was so hot, one man’s brain turned to glass.," 22 Jan. 2020 No other vitrified brain remains were found at Herculaneum, Petrone added. NBC News, "The heat from the Vesuvius eruption in A.D. 79 turned one victim's brain to glass," 22 Jan. 2020 The overall effort involves more than just a facility turning radioactive waste into vitrified glass. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "The Long Fight to Clean Up America’s Cold War Nuclear Waste," 10 Dec. 2019 File - In this Nov., 20, 2013 file photo, after radioactive waste is vitrified and sealed in large stainless steel canisters they are stored under a five-feet of concrete in a glass waste storage building at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C. Washington Post, "US to decide best site option for nuclear weapons production," 9 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of vitrify

1594, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for vitrify

Middle French vitrifier, from Latin vitrum glass

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Time Traveler for vitrify

Time Traveler

The first known use of vitrify was in 1594

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Cite this Entry

“Vitrify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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