Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. petrifying; petrifactive

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Petrifying; petrifactive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That converts or has power to convert into stone.

Etymologies

Compare French pétrifique. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “Sir!” cried Mr Delvile, with a look meant to be nothing less than petrific.

    Cecilia

  • Such denial thus becomes another form of self-mortification as Theotormon "wear [s] the threshold hard," figuratively clothing himself in a penitential garment of stonea version of the ascetic's hairshirtwhose petrific, impenetrable surface signifies Theotormon's extreme self-enclosure, his unwillingness to entertain any open encounter with earthly otherness.

    Gender, Environment, and Imperialism in William Blake's _Visions of the Daughters of Albion_

  • Had certain melodramatic features been as cautiously banished from Mr O'Connell's parades as latterly they were affectedly sought, it is certain that, to this hour, he and his pretended myriads would have been untouched by the petrific mace of the policeman.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 342, April, 1844

  • Color was to them a rapture and one of the great pursuits of their lives; it was music visible, and they cultivated it as such, -- not by rule and measure, by scales and opposites, through theories and canons, with petrific chill of intellect or entangling subtilty of analysis.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 74, December, 1863

  • The sultry and dissolving fluid shall bake into a solid, the petrific fluid shall melt into a liquid.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348

  • But Mr. Bailly will sooner thaw the eternal ice of his Atlantic regions, than restore the central heat to Paris, whilst it remains 'smitten with the cold, dry, petrific mace' of a false and unfeeling philosophy.

    Paras. 375-407

  • But it must be honestly added, that the result depends upon the spirit in which such study is carried on; for if we are too fond of finality, too eager to believe that we have already attained a greater precision and comprehension than are in fact attainable, nothing can be more petrific than 'science,' and our last state may be worse than the first.

    Logic Deductive and Inductive

  • At times March actually lifted a shawl from his knees, feeling sure that the stranger was English and that he might make so bold with him; then at some glacial glint in the young man's eye, or at some petrific expression of his delicate face, he felt that he was a Bostonian, and lost courage and let the shawl sink again.

    Complete March Family Trilogy

  • The fair Andromeda, still chained to her eternal rock, looks mournfully towards the delivering hero whose conquering hand bears aloft the petrific visage of Medusa.

    The Destiny of the Soul A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life

  • Like Thackeray and Dickens, he was touched by death's "petrific mace" before he had had time to do more than lay the groundwork and begin the main structure of the fiction he had in hand; and, as in the case of

    The Dolliver Romance

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