Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To render useless or ineffectual; cripple.
  • transitive v. To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous.
  • transitive v. Law To allege or prove insane and so not legally responsible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To prove to be of unsound mind or demonstrate someone's incompetence.
  • v. To cause to appear foolish.
  • v. To deprive of strength or efficacy; make useless or worthless.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make foolish; to make a fool of.
  • transitive v. To regard as a fool, or as foolish.
  • transitive v. To allege or prove to be of unsound mind, so that the performance of some act may be avoided.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make or cause to appear foolish; reduce to foolishness or absurdity: used of persons or things.
  • To look upon as a fool; regard as foolish.
  • In law, to allege one's own insanity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. deprive of strength or efficiency; make useless or worthless
  • v. prove to be of unsound mind or demonstrate someone's incompetence
  • v. cause to appear foolish

Etymologies

Late Latin stultificāre, to make foolish : Latin stultus, foolish; see stel- in Indo-European roots + Latin -ficāre, -fy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin stultus "stupid, foolish". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • By doing the right thing – following in the footsteps of the Bush Administration – without setting forth good reasons, the President will stultify his ability to keep on doing it.

    If the Policy Is Right, Does the Rhetoric Matter?

  • In the middle of your well-deserved editorial paean to Steve Jobs, "The Importance of Jobs" Aug. 26, you can't resist slamming "government rules and controls" that you think "stultify . . . human ingenuity and passion."

    On the Insanely Great and Fruitful Career of Steve Jobs

  • AftertheWhite House gathering earlier this week, Jindal was all over the television, applauding the President's efforts, while simultaneously attempting to hamper and stultify them.

    IT IS NOT PERMANENT

  • A ban can be considered "informal" by a historian writing in 2009 but still have had the potential to greatly stultify technological development, had it not been reversed.

    On Micheal Jackson's Downfall

  • In fact, if you sit outside of Bikini Village for 10 minutes, you will see every shape and size imaginable walk by, some of which will mystify and stultify, but walk by they do.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • Yet, the fact is, most cultures – ours included – have created structures that serve to alienate, denigrate, punish, contain, stultify, objectify, and just plain use women.

    May | 2007 | Living the Liminal

  • Feyerabend eventually developed these thoughts in a fascinating series of papers beginning in 1957, arguing that science needs realism in order to progress, and that positivism would stultify such progress.

    Paul Feyerabend

  • These are also they who thanked the world information media for their co-operation in keeping the world population tame to allow them to take power, so we must also clean out all our means of education and information, which have been so dominated to mislead and misinform and stultify.

    Act Accordingly - People, Arise! - A Call to Arms

  • "It would be a mistake to drive us, in a moment of hysteria, to a solution that is unconstitutional, would stultify technology, and wouldn't even fulfill its mission," argues Jerry Berman, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

    No Place For Kids?

  • October 31, 2008 at 6:51 am needs sum tendrils to halp you stultify da LPG? canicanicani?

    Halloween Pose - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

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