tr.v. stul·ti·fied, stul·ti·fy·ing, stul·ti·fies
1. To cause to lose interest or feel dull and not alert: The audience was stultified by the speaker's unchanging monotone.
2. To render useless or ineffectual: "[She believed] that the requirements of conventional academic life can stultify imagination, stifle enthusiasm and deaden prose style" (Robert K. Massie).
3. To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous: "Should he now stultify himself in all those quarrels by admitting he had been cruel, unjust, and needlessly jealous?" (Anthony Trollope).
4. Law To claim incapacity as setting aside or preventing enforcement of (a deed or contract).
[Late Latin stultificāre, to make foolish : Latin stultus, foolish; see stel- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin -ficāre, -fy.]
stul′ti·fi·cation (-fĭ-kāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.