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[stuhl-tuh-fahy] /ˈstʌl təˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), stultified, stultifying.
to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous.
to render absurdly or wholly futile or ineffectual, especially by degrading or frustrating means:
Menial work can stultify the mind.
Law. to allege or prove (oneself or another) to be of unsound mind.
Origin of stultify
1760-70; < Late Latin stultificāre, equivalent to Latin stult(us) stupid + -i- -i- + -ficāre -fy
Related forms
stultification, noun
stultifier, noun
stultifyingly, adverb
nonstultification, noun
unstultified, adjective
unstultifying, adjective
2. cripple, impede, frustrate, hinder, thwart. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for stultified
Historical Examples
  • He hurried along filled with a lust that stultified his brain and will.

    Marching Men Sherwood Anderson
  • With the coming of Christianity this science, as well as all others, was stultified.

    The Necessity of Atheism Dr. D.M. Brooks
  • Only a stultified fanaticism can ignore the practical distinction.

  • More than that,” said Rooney, with decision; “he must be stultified.

    Red Rooney R.M. Ballantyne
  • To reply in the affirmative would have been to justify the work of healing; a negative answer would have stultified them.

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • They are stultified thought products; they do not really exist.

    The Second Fiddle Phyllis Bottome
  • There was a poetic vein in young Ainsleigh, but troubles from his earliest childhood had stultified it considerably.

    The Mandarin's Fan Fergus Hume
  • He tried to think of something to say, and gave it up, stultified by his compassion.

    The Immortal Moment May Sinclair
  • His insistence on the point was of itself suspicious, but eagerness to protect her stultified his wits.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Yon are fully aware how much of the fault is your own; but you are stultified and hardened to shame.

British Dictionary definitions for stultified


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to make useless, futile, or ineffectual, esp by routine
to cause to appear absurd or inconsistent
to prove (someone) to be of unsound mind and thus not legally responsible
Derived Forms
stultification, noun
stultifier, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Latin stultus stupid + facere to make
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 stultified



1766, "allege to be of unsound mind" (legal term), from Late Latin stultificare "turn into foolishness," from Latin stultus "foolish" + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). The first element is cognate with Latin stolidus "slow, dull, obtuse" (see stolid). Meaning "cause to appear foolish or absurd" is from 1809.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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