Etymology
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petrify (v.)

1590s, "convert into stone or stony substance," from French pétrifier "to make or become stone" (16c.), from Latin petra "rock, crag" (see petrous) + -ficare, combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Intransitive sense of "to become stone" is from 1640s. Metaphoric sense of "paralyze with fear or shock" is attested by 1771. Related: Petrified; petrifying.

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Definitions of petrify

petrify (v.)
cause to become stonelike or stiff or dazed and stunned from fright;
Fear petrified her thinking
The horror petrified his feelings
petrify (v.)
change into stone;
the wood petrified with time
Synonyms: lapidify
petrify (v.)
make rigid and set into a conventional pattern;
slogans petrify our thinking
Synonyms: rigidify / ossify
From wordnet.princeton.edu