petrify

[ pe-truh-fahy ]
/ ˈpɛ trəˌfaɪ /

verb (used with object), pet·ri·fied, pet·ri·fy·ing.

to convert into stone or a stony substance.
to benumb or paralyze with astonishment, horror, or other strong emotion: I was petrified with fear.
to make rigid or inert; harden; deaden: The tragedy in his life petrified his emotions.

verb (used without object), pet·ri·fied, pet·ri·fy·ing.

to become petrified.

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Origin of petrify

From the Middle French word petrifier, dating back to 1585–95. See petri-, -fy

OTHER WORDS FROM petrify

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for petrify

British Dictionary definitions for petrify

petrify
/ (ˈpɛtrɪˌfaɪ) /

verb -fies, -fying or -fied

(tr; often passive) to convert (organic material, esp plant material) into a fossilized form by impregnation with dissolved minerals so that the original appearance is preserved
to make or become dull, unresponsive, insensitive, etc; deaden
(tr; often passive) to stun or daze with horror, fear, etc

Derived forms of petrify

petrifier, noun

Word Origin for petrify

C16: from French pétrifier, ultimately from Greek petra stone, rock
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