Definition of petrify in English:

petrify

Syllabification: pet·ri·fy
Pronunciation: /ˈpetrəˌfī
 
/

verb (petrifies, petrifying, petrified)

[with object]
1Make (someone) so frightened that they are unable to move or think: his icy controlled quietness petrified her
More example sentences
  • You are petrified of letting people see how vulnerable you can be and have a very bad case of stage fright.
  • I am petrified of heights and last year did an abseil which I found really scary.
  • But I'm also petrified of joblessness, insecurity, and drastic changes happening all at once.
Synonyms
terrified, terror-stricken, horrified, scared/frightened out of one's wits, scared/frightened to deathterrify, horrify, frighten, scare, scare/frighten to death, scare/frighten the living daylights out of, scare/frighten the life out of, strike terror into, put the fear of God into; paralyze, transfix
informal scare the pants off, scare the bejesus out of
2Change (organic matter) into a stony concretion by encrusting or replacing its original substance 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.
Synonyms
ossified, fossilized, calcified

Origin

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

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