ossify

Ossify means to become bony. When a baby is born, some of their "bones" are actually soft cartilage, which allows for growth. As the child grows, these soft areas ossify into actual bone. The knee cap, for example, begins to ossify between ages 3 and 6.

From the literal "to become bony" meaning of ossify, we get the more figurative meaning: to become rigid or hardened. Although you and other young people may be willing to effect social changes, many older voters have ossified in their opinions. Convincing these rigid thinkers that these changes are good for the country will be quite the challenge. If your kids sneak food to their rooms, you may find ossified cheese under the beds. Even mice won't touch that!

Definitions of ossify
  1. verb
    become bony
    “The tissue ossified
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    type of:
    change state, turn
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
  2. verb
    cause to become hard and bony
    “The disease ossified the tissue”
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  3. verb
    make rigid and set into a conventional pattern
    ossified teaching methods”
    synonyms: petrify, rigidify
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    type of:
    stiffen
    make stiff or stiffer
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