• WordNet 3.6
    • n petrifaction a rock created by petrifaction; an organic object infiltrated with mineral matter and preserved in its original form
    • n petrifaction the process of turning some plant material into stone by infiltration with water carrying mineral particles without changing the original shape
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Petrifaction Fig.: Hardness; callousness; obduracy. "Petrifaction of the soul."
    • Petrifaction That which is petrified; popularly, a body incrusted with stony matter; an incrustation.
    • Petrifaction The process of petrifying, or changing into stone; conversion of any organic matter (animal or vegetable) into stone, or a substance of stony hardness.
    • Petrifaction The state or condition of being petrified.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n petrifaction Conversion into stone, specifically of organic substances or parts of such: fossilization; replacement of organic matter by some mineral substance, in which process more or less of the form and structure of the organized body is preserved.
    • n petrifaction An organic substance converted into stone; a fossil. The words petrifaction and fossil are entirely synonymous at the present time. Formerly fossil was applied to minerals or mineral substances dug from the earth. whether they did or did not exhibit any traces of organic structure. See fossil.
    • n petrifaction Figuratively, a rigid or stunned condition resulting from fear, astonishment, etc.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Petrifaction the act of turning into stone: the state of being turned into stone: that which is made stone: a fossil
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
See Petrify
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. petra—Gr. petra, rock, L. facĕre, factum, to make.


In literature:

His mind never became a petrifaction, but was ever growing and vital.
"Charles Carleton Coffin" by William Elliot Griffis
The Russian Gorgo's method of petrifaction is singular.
"Russian Fairy Tales" by W. R. S. Ralston
It stood half thrown back on its haunches, its ears flattened, its eyes glaring in a petrifaction of amazement.
"Hooking Watermelons" by Edward Bellamy
No signs of vegetation are found, but they are abundant in strange petrifactions.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866" by Various
The petrifaction was most complete.
"The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19" by Various
She is not quite so far gone in petrifaction as Aunt, although she gets a little stonier every year.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Nothing but tame silence and spiritual petrifaction could have made his peace at the Stuart Court.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
Pallor, petrifaction, silence, death itself.
"Tartarin On The Alps" by Alphonse Daudet
Without doubt he was suffering from some process of moral petrifaction.
"The Rough Road" by William John Locke
But, indeed, that Sunday evening reading was the one thing that saved my life from growing, or settling, into a petrifaction.
"Daisy" by Elizabeth Wetherell