One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The process by which organic matter exposed to minerals over a long period is turned into a stony substance.‘the processes of petrification’figurative ‘he taught me to take risks, to avoid petrification’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1count noun An organic object which 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.’
2A state of such extreme fear that one is unable to move.‘his heavy footfalls served to spur Paul out of his petrification’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
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