from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To convert (wood or other organic matter) into a stony replica by petrifaction.
- transitive v. To cause to become stiff or stonelike; deaden.
- transitive v. To stun or paralyze with terror; daze.
- intransitive v. To become stony, especially by petrifaction.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To harden organic matter by permeating with water and depositing dissolved minerals.
- v. To produce rigidness akin to stone.
- v. To immobilize with fright.
- v. To become stone, or of a stony hardness, as organic matter by calcareous deposits.
- v. To become stony, callous, or obdurate.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To convert, as any animal or vegetable matter, into stone or stony substance.
- transitive v. To make callous or obdurate; to stupefy; to paralyze; to transform; as by petrifaction. Young.
- intransitive v. To become stone, or of a stony hardness, as organic matter by calcareous deposits.
- intransitive v. Fig.: To become stony, callous, or obdurate.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To convert into stone or a stony substance; change into stone.
- To make hard as stone; render hard or callous: as, to petrify the heart.
- To paralyze or stupefy as with fear or amazement: as, to petrify one with astonishment.
- To become stone or of a stony hardness, as organic matter by means of calcareous or other deposits in its cavities; hence, to change into lifeless hardness or rigidity.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. cause to become stonelike or stiff or dazed and stunned
- v. change into stone
- v. make rigid and set into a conventional pattern
Middle English petrifien, to harden, from Old French petrifier : Latin petra, rock (from Greek petrā) + Old French -fier, -fy.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin petrificare, from petra ("rock") (Wiktionary)