Definition of petrify in English:


Line breaks: pet|rify
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛtrɪfʌɪ

verb (petrifies, petrifying, petrified)

[with object]
  • 1Change (organic matter) into a stony substance by encrusting or replacing it with a calcareous, siliceous, or other mineral deposit.
    More example sentences
    • The chemical components used to artificially petrify wood can be found in natural settings around volcanoes and within sedimentary strata.
    • As the ham was petrified within ‘historic time’, it was excluded on the basis of the first of these definitions from being called a fossil.
    • The charcoal had kept the hull dry and the salt had petrified it.
    ossified, fossilized
    rare lapidified


late Middle English: from French pétrifier, from medieval Latin petrificare, from Latin petra 'rock', from Greek.

More definitions of petrify

Definition of petrify in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman