verb (used with or without object), cal·ci·fied, cal·ci·fy·ing.

Physiology. to make or become calcareous or bony; harden by the deposit of calcium salts.
Geology. to harden by deposition of calcium carbonate.
to make or become rigid or intransigent, as in a political position.

Origin of calcify

First recorded in 1830–40; calci- + -fy
Related formsnon·cal·ci·fied, adjectiveun·cal·ci·fied, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for calcify

Historical Examples of calcify

  • The permanent incisors do not calcify until a year after birth.


    Eugene S. Talbot

  • My father did not achieve that for himself, as his arteries had started to calcify before he discovered the immortality vitamin.

  • The underlying blood coagulates rapidly, and the periosteum begins to calcify within a few weeks, as shown by the X-ray.

    Scurvy Past and Present

    Alfred Fabian Hess

  • At the fifth year the second permanent molars, and at the eighth year the third molars or wisdom teeth, begin to calcify.


    Eugene S. Talbot

  • The permanent molars begin to calcify at the twenty-fifth week of fœtal life.


    Eugene S. Talbot

British Dictionary definitions for calcify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied

to convert or be converted into lime
to harden or become hardened by impregnation with calcium salts
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

Word Origin and History for calcify

1785 (implied in calcified), from French calcifier, from stem of Latin calcem "lime" (see chalk (n.)) + -fy. Related: Calcifying; calcification.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

calcify in Medicine




To make or become stony or chalky by deposition of calcium salts.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.