[pe-truh-fahy] /ˈpɛ trəˌfaɪ/

verb (used with object), petrified, petrifying.
to convert into stone or a stony substance.
to benumb or paralyze with astonishment, horror, or other strong emotion:
I was petrified with fear.
to make rigid or inert; harden; deaden:
The tragedy in his life petrified his emotions.
verb (used without object), petrified, petrifying.
to become petrified.
verb -fies, -fying, -fied
(transitive; often passive) to convert (organic material, esp plant material) into a fossilized form by impregnation with dissolved minerals so that the original appearance is preserved
to make or become dull, unresponsive, insensitive, etc; deaden
(transitive; often passive) to stun or daze with horror, fear, etc

1590s, from Middle French pétrifier “to make or become stone” (16c.), from Latin petra “rock, crag” (see petrous) + -ficare, from facere “to make, do” (see factitious). Metaphoric sense of “paralyze with fear or shock” first recorded 1771. Related: Petrified; petrifying.


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