Definition of petrification in English:



mass noun
  • 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.’
    • ‘One consequence of focusing on the process is that we know it is incorrect to say petrification takes millions of years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fossilization process known as petrifaction usually begins when a tree or log is buried in silica-rich, alkaline volcanic ash or mud.’
    • ‘Though reddish-brown and hardened by petrifaction, the original character of the wood was still evident.’
    1. 1.1count noun An organic object which has been turned to stone.
      • ‘Petrifications, where no organic material remains, are usually prepared as thin sections or polished and studied under reflected light.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘Chalisse looked at her chosen man and saw his petrification.’
    • ‘Kinamori looked at him, absolute petrifaction written on her face.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Padlin's petrification seemed to reassure the boy.’