- to convert into or cause to harden like bone.
- to become bone or harden like bone.
- to become rigid or inflexible in habits, attitudes, opinions, etc.: a young man who began to ossify right after college.
Origin of ossify
1705–15; < Latin ossi- (stem of os) bone + -fy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ossify
There is a general growth to be observed, and the bones are beginning to ossify.Embryology
Gerald R. Leighton
The first vertebra to ossify is the second or third cervical, and the ossification gradually extends to those behind.The Works of Francis Maitland Balfour, Volume III (of 4)
Francis Maitland Balfour
The mentomecklians do not ossify until approximately the same time that the quadratojugal appears in the upper jaw.Neotropical Hylid Frogs, Genus Smilisca
William E. Duellman
Convictions harden and grow, and differences magnify and ossify as the controversy progresses.Lord Randolph Churchill
Winston Spencer Churchill
The latter will always take care of themselves—the danger being that they rapidly tend to ossify us.Complete Prose Works
- to convert or be converted into bone
- (intr) (of habits, attitudes, etc) to become inflexible
C18: from French ossifier, from Latin os bone + 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
Word Origin and History for ossify
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- To change into bone.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.