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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stultify
Historical Examples
  • But what the privileged orders can no longer prevent, they are determined to stultify.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • I pointed out that time might stultify this selection of a title.


    Ian Hay
  • Providence does not comply with our predictions in order to stultify us.

  • Have I ever done anything to stultify, degrade you, or impair your self-respect?

    Asiatic Breezes Oliver Optic
  • Why, it does not run counter to its own sense of taste, or stultify itself.

  • How can I imperil that love, and how can I stultify that honour?

    A Fool's Paradise Sydney Grundy
  • To prevent their fulfilment were to stultify their existence.

    The Wave Algernon Blackwood
  • He recognized that he must not stultify it by a show of irritation.

    Once Upon A Time Richard Harding Davis
  • To have even one confidant would be to stultify the whole affair.

    The Argosy Various
  • He did not intend to stultify himself, even for Graham's good "friends."

British Dictionary definitions for stultify


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 stultify

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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