Definition of petrification in English:

Share this entry

petrification

Pronunciation: /ˌpetrəfəˈkāSH(ə)n/

noun

1The process by which organic matter exposed to minerals over a long period is turned into a stony substance.
Example sentences
  • We are constantly told that geological processes like petrifaction, fossilisation, and stalagmite formation take millions of years - an unimaginably long time.
  • The fossilization process known as petrifaction usually begins when a tree or log is buried in silica-rich, alkaline volcanic ash or mud.
  • In petrifaction (sensu stricto) the organic cell walls may decay and be replaced by another phase of minerals, usually with a similar chemical composition to the first phase.
1.1A state of extreme fear, making someone unable to move: his heavy footfalls served to spur Paul out of his petrification
More example sentences
  • Liberalism provides valorization of the individual subject and the rule of law against the reactionary potential of institutional petrifaction and authoritarian principles.
  • I started glowing in my absolute petrifaction of the dark.
  • Kinamori looked at him, absolute petrifaction written on her face.
1.2An organic object that has been turned to stone.
Example sentences
  • Cuticle was not preserved on the surfaces of the compressions, although surface features could be observed in parts of some fossils preserved as limonite petrifactions.
  • Petrifications, where no organic material remains, are usually prepared as thin sections or polished and studied under reflected light.
  • However, Mesozoic examples of insect wood boring occur in petrifactions, many of which were deposited in drier, more riparian habitats.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pet·ri·fi·ca·tion

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.