- 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.
- to become petrified.
Origin of petrify
SynonymsSee more synonyms for petrify on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for petrified
I was petrified, and it left me wondering, “Do I give him this direction?”Michel Gondry on ‘Mood Indigo,’ Kanye West, and the 10th Anniversary of ‘Eternal Sunshine’
July 20, 2014
A petrified grimace wrinkles the white clay adorning her face.Hallucinating Away a Heroin Addiction
May 4, 2014
It petrified me as a young gay kid in Montana, growing up playing tennis.The Jason Collins Effect: Yes, They Can
April 29, 2014
I was exhausted and the others were petrified… We all swore that it was OK.The Week in Death: The Dictator’s Architect
November 3, 2013
In 1996, Clinton was petrified about a primary challenge from Jesse Jackson.Obama's a Lock in 2012
October 6, 2010
She stood as if petrified throughout a wait that seemed to both interminable.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
It was like a fine mask, suddenly startled, made angry, and petrified.A Tale of Two Cities
For a moment she remained as if petrified, still listening, still waiting.Fruitfulness
When I told Matthews of my intention he had been petrified with astonishment.Kent Knowles: Quahaug
Joseph C. Lincoln
And for a moment he stood as if petrified into a block of massive granite.
- (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
Word Origin and History for petrified
1660s, "turned to stone," past participle adjective from petrify (v.). Figurative meaning "paralyzed (with fright, etc.)" is from 1720.