follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

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.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for petrifying

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for petrifying

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for petrify

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for petrifying

19
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for petrifying