verb (used with object), petrified, petrifying.
to convert into stone or a stony substance.
to benumb or paralyze with astonishment, horror, or other strong emotion: I was petrified with fear.
to make rigid or inert; harden; deaden: The tragedy in his life petrified his emotions.
verb (used without object), petrified, petrifying.
to become petrified.

1585–95; < Middle French petrifier. See petri-, -fy

petrifiable, adjective
petrificant [pi-trif-i-kuhnt] , adjective
petrifier, noun
half-petrified, adjective
semipetrified, adjective
unpetrified, adjective
unpetrifying, adjective

2. immobilize, dumbfound, daze. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
petrify (ˈpɛtrɪˌfaɪ)
vb , -fies, -fying, -fied
1.  (tr; often passive) to convert (organic material, esp plant material) into a fossilized form by impregnation with dissolved minerals so that the original appearance is preserved
2.  to make or become dull, unresponsive, insensitive, etc; deaden
3.  (tr; often passive) to stun or daze with horror, fear, etc
[C16: from French pétrifier, ultimately from Greek petra stone, rock]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1594, from M.Fr. pétrifier "to make or become stone," from L. petra "rock" + -ficare, from facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Metaphoric sense of "paralyze with fear or shock" first recorded 1771.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The empty shell or bone is left behind to petrify within the gradually hardening sediment covering the animal part.
The factor that determined that these logs should petrify was the presence in the ground of mineral waters charged with silica.
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