- the act or process of petrifying; the state of being petrified.
- something petrified.
Also pet·ri·fi·ca·tion [pe-truh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˌpɛ trə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/.
Origin of petrifaction
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for petrification
The mistake lies in wishing to escape from it by a petrification of our joys.Days Off
Henry Van Dyke
An Addition to the Instances of Petrification, formerly enumerated.
The reign of justice could only be the reign of silence and of petrification.Decadence and Other Essays on the Culture of Ideas
Remy de Gourmont
I stared in petrification at Lukynitch; I had not expected this, I admit.The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories
While wandering through the valley of the Clearwater and the adjacent hills, I was much struck with the wonders of petrification.Memoirs of Orange Jacobs
- the act or process of forming petrified organic material
- the state of being petrified
Word Origin and History for petrification
early 15c., "action or process of hardening," from petrify on model of satisfaction, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A process of fossilization in which dissolved minerals replace organic matter.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- The process by which organic materials are turned into rock. Petrifaction occurs when water that is rich with inorganic minerals, such as calcium carbonate or silica, passes slowly through organic matter, such as wood or bone, replacing its cellular structure with minerals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.