verb (used with object), stul·ti·fied, stul·ti·fy·ing.

to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous.
to render absurdly or wholly futile or ineffectual, especially by degrading or frustrating means: Menial work can stultify the mind.
Law. to allege or prove (oneself or another) to be of unsound mind.

Origin of stultify

1760–70; < Late Latin stultificāre, equivalent to Latin stult(us) stupid + -i- -i- + -ficāre -fy
Related formsstul·ti·fi·ca·tion, nounstul·ti·fi·er, nounstul·ti·fy·ing·ly, adverbnon·stul·ti·fi·ca·tion, nounun·stul·ti·fied, adjectiveun·stul·ti·fy·ing, adjective

Synonyms for stultify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stultified

Historical Examples of stultified

  • With the coming of Christianity this science, as well as all others, was stultified.

  • More than that,” said Rooney, with decision; “he must be stultified.

    Red Rooney

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • He had the feeling that her individuality had been stultified.

  • They are stultified thought products; they do not really exist.

    The Second Fiddle

    Phyllis Bottome

  • He hurried along filled with a lust that stultified his brain and will.

    Marching Men

    Sherwood Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for stultified


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

to make useless, futile, or ineffectual, esp by routine
to cause to appear absurd or inconsistent
to prove (someone) to be of unsound mind and thus not legally responsible
Derived Formsstultification, nounstultifier, noun

Word Origin for stultify

C18: from Latin stultus stupid + 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 stultified



1766, "allege to be of unsound mind" (legal term), from Late Latin stultificare "turn into foolishness," from Latin stultus "foolish" + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). The first element is cognate with Latin stolidus "slow, dull, obtuse" (see stolid). Meaning "cause to appear foolish or absurd" is from 1809.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper