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petrify

[pe-truh-fahy] /ˈpɛ trəˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), petrified, petrifying.
1.
to convert into stone or a stony substance.
2.
to benumb or paralyze with astonishment, horror, or other strong emotion:
I was petrified with fear.
3.
to make rigid or inert; harden; deaden:
The tragedy in his life petrified his emotions.
verb (used without object), petrified, petrifying.
4.
to become petrified.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < Middle French petrifier. See petri-, -fy
Related forms
petrifiable, adjective
petrificant
[pi-trif-i-kuh nt] /pɪˈtrɪf ɪ kənt/ (Show IPA),
adjective
petrifier, noun
half-petrified, adjective
semipetrified, adjective
unpetrified, adjective
unpetrifying, adjective
Synonyms
2. immobilize, dumbfound, daze.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for petrify
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for petrify

petrify

/ˈpɛtrɪˌfaɪ/
verb -fies, -fying, -fied
1.
(transitive; 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.
(transitive; often passive) to stun or daze with horror, fear, etc
Derived Forms
petrifier, noun
Word Origin
C16: from French pétrifier, ultimately from Greek petra stone, rock
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for petrify
v.

1590s, from Middle French pétrifier "to make or become stone" (16c.), from Latin petra "rock, crag" (see petrous) + -ficare, from facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Metaphoric sense of "paralyze with fear or shock" first recorded 1771. Related: Petrified; petrifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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