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How to pronounce petrify (audio)

Dictionary definition of petrify

To turn something into stone or causing it to become like stone in terms of hardness or rigidity.
"The swamp is known to petrify any wood that sinks into its depths."

Detailed meaning of petrify

This transformation typically occurs through a natural or magical process that replaces the original material with minerals, rendering it immobile and unyielding. Figuratively, "petrify" can also be used to describe a state of extreme fear or shock that immobilizes a person, making them as still and unresponsive as if they had turned to stone. In this context, it signifies a profound emotional or psychological reaction that leaves an individual paralyzed by their emotions or circumstances, unable to move or respond.

Example sentences containing petrify

1. Minerals in the water petrify wood over eons.
2. Harsh conditions can petrify even the softest organic matter.
3. Artists sometimes use techniques that petrify materials, giving them a stone-like appearance.
4. They discovered a chemical that can petrify leaves instantly.
5. Time can petrify objects, sealing them in a stony embrace.
6. The museum displayed objects that processes had begun to petrify.

History and etymology of petrify

The verb 'petrify' is rooted in Latin, derived from the word 'petra,' which means 'rock' or 'stone.' In Latin, 'petrificare' signifies 'to turn into stone' or 'to make stone-like.' The term 'petrify' etymologically conveys the idea of transforming something into stone or causing it to become as hard and rigid as stone. While the literal transformation of objects into stone is generally a fantastical notion, the term is commonly used metaphorically to describe processes that render something immovable, unyielding, or frozen in a particular state. This etymology highlights the ancient association with rock or stone, emphasizing the concept of hardness and permanence inherent in the word 'petrify.'

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Further usage examples of petrify

1. Certain caves petrify items left in them due to dripping mineral-laden waters.
2. Scientists are studying ancient bogs that petrify organisms.
3. The experiment aimed to petrify plant samples for a lasting exhibit.
4. Can this compound petrify the sponge over a period?
5. The pool is believed to petrify anything that enters its waters.
6. There's a lake in Tanzania that appears to petrify birds.
7. Natural springs sometimes petrify objects due to their mineral content.
8. This mineral bath will petrify the textile, preserving its patterns.
9. Some environments petrify bones, turning them into fossils.
10. Certain chemical reactions can petrify substances quickly.
11. Ancient stories tell of magic waters that petrify thieves.
12. Researchers are developing methods to petrify seeds for long-term storage.
13. Unique conditions in the desert can petrify remains rapidly.
14. The resin will petrify the material, making it durable and long-lasting.
15. They're looking for processes that petrify samples without distorting them.
16. Over time, dripping minerals can petrify formations in caves.
17. The alchemist claimed he had a potion that could petrify any matter.



harden, soften, liquefy, melt


Hurdles and Setbacks, Complexity and Intricacy, Decline and Disintegrate, Deterioration and Decline, Decline and Decay, Materials and Substances

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