Definition of lithify in US English:


verblithified, lithifying, lithifies

[with object]Geology
  • Transform (a sediment or other material) into stone.

    • ‘This sediment was locally lithified to form thin hard grounds, presumably at times of non-sedimentation or significantly reduced sedimentation.’
    • ‘Low-strain deformation of many natural rocks, both unlithified sediments and lithified sedimentary rocks, occurs by strain localization in dilatant joints or in shear bands that can dilate or compact.’
    • ‘The three-dimensional preservation of pellets and fossil remains in the limestones suggests that the carbonate muds were rapidly lithified, and that the limestones record minimal time averaging.’
    • ‘Another strong argument against the mammoth death-in-the-Flood hypothesis is that the Beringian animals are buried in unconsolidated surficial sediments overlying lithified sedimentary rocks.’
    • ‘Stratification may be deformed penecontemporaneously by various agencies, before the rock is lithified.’


Late 19th century: from Greek lithos ‘stone’ + -fy.