1590s, from Middle 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"). Metaphoric sense of "paralyze with fear or shock" first recorded 1771. Related: Petrified; petrifying.
Web design and development by MaoningTech.