Definition of petrification in English:



  • 1The process by which organic matter exposed to minerals over a long period is turned into a stony substance.

    ‘We are constantly told that geological processes like petrifaction, fossilisation, and stalagmite formation take millions of years - an unimaginably long time.’
    • ‘The fossilization process known as petrifaction usually begins when a tree or log is buried in silica-rich, alkaline volcanic ash or mud.’
    • ‘In petrifaction (sensu stricto) the organic cell walls may decay and be replaced by another phase of minerals, usually with a similar chemical composition to the first phase.’
    • ‘One consequence of focusing on the process is that we know it is incorrect to say petrification takes millions of years.’
    • ‘Though reddish-brown and hardened by petrifaction, the original character of the wood was still evident.’
    1. 1.1A state of extreme fear, making someone unable to move.
      ‘his heavy footfalls served to spur Paul out of his petrification’
      • ‘Liberalism provides valorization of the individual subject and the rule of law against the reactionary potential of institutional petrifaction and authoritarian principles.’
      • ‘I started glowing in my absolute petrifaction of the dark.’
      • ‘Kinamori looked at him, absolute petrifaction written on her face.’
      • ‘Padlin's petrification seemed to reassure the boy.’
      • ‘Chalisse looked at her chosen man and saw his petrification.’
    2. 1.2An organic object that has been turned to stone.
      ‘Cuticle was not preserved on the surfaces of the compressions, although surface features could be observed in parts of some fossils preserved as limonite petrifactions.’
      • ‘Petrifications, where no organic material remains, are usually prepared as thin sections or polished and studied under reflected light.’
      • ‘However, Mesozoic examples of insect wood boring occur in petrifactions, many of which were deposited in drier, more riparian habitats.’



/ˌpetrəfəˈkāSH(ə)n/ /ˌpɛtrəfəˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/