Petrification is when a live organism becomes gradually turned into a stone. Many fossils found by amateurs and archaeologists were formed through petrification.

The scientific process of petrification involves the very slow process of minerals saturating an organism — which can be a plant or animal — and filling its pores and cavities with a hard stone. Petrified wood is one result of petrification. The figurative kind of petrification happens when you’re so scared that you can’t move. Petrification comes from the verb petrify, with its Middle French root pétrifier, “to become stone,” from the Latin petra, “rock or crag.”

Definitions of petrification
  1. noun

    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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    type of:

    fossilisation, fossilization

    the process of fossilizing a plant or animal that existed in some earlier age; the process of being turned to stone

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