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ossify Line breaks: os¦sify
Pronunciation: /ˈɒsɪfʌɪ/

Definition of ossify in English:

verb (ossifies, ossifying, ossified)

[no object]
1Turn into bone or bony tissue: these tracheal cartilages may ossify
More example sentences
  • The flat bones ossify directly from such fibrous tissue rather than from intermediary cartilage.
  • Fossilized embryos are rarely discovered, because their bones only begin to ossify late in development.
  • In later years some of these joints completely ossify (are converted to solid bone material).
turn into bone, become bony, harden, solidify, stiffen, rigidify, petrify, fossilize
rare indurate
2 (often as adjective ossified) Cease developing; stagnate: ossified political institutions
More example sentences
  • By the 1980s, political life was suffocating and the political system had ossified.
  • The baron ought to be repellent, but he quickly gathers the audience on his side, as an unlikely agent for freedom in a repressive, ossified society.
  • Too much debate on the Left is about defending ossified thought patterns and structures which have actually outlived their usefulness.
become inflexible, become rigid, fossilize, harden, rigidify, stagnate, become unyielding/obdurate, become unprogressive, cease developing


Pronunciation: /ɒsɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • I don't think any artist likes the idea of ossification, of becoming just a tradition.
  • In fact, it shows the kind of ossification that comes from osteoporosis and would be the result of degeneration from lack of physical activity and being in a coma.
  • But if talent, of any sort, is not nurtured within the organization, any organization, we will see ossification and decay.


Early 18th century: from French ossifier, from Latin os, oss- 'bone'.

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