Petrifaction, the act or process of petrifying or changing into a stone; the state of being petrified; conversion of any organic matter, animal or vegetable, into stone, or a substance of stony hardness. A "petrifaction" is not, strictly speaking, a transformation of the original animal or plant into stone. It is merely a replacement of the organic tissue by mineral substance. As each particle of the plant or animal decays and disappears its place is taken, usually in water or mud, by a particle of mineral matter deposited from the water which has held it in suspension. Thus the perishableoriginal is changed into imperishable stone, preserving its form and even its structural appearance when cut into.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Pet`ri*fac"tion (?), n. [See Petrify.]


The process of petrifying, or changing into stone; conversion of any organic matter (animal or vegetable) into stone, or a substance of stony hardness.


The state or condition of being petrified.


That which is petrified; popularly, a body incrusted with stony matter; an incrustation.


Fig.: Hardness; callousness; obduracy.

"Petrifaction of the soul."



© Webster 1913.

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