December 20, 2017 · By Vocab Girl Leave Comment


1 : to cause to appear or be stupid, foolish, or absurdly illogical

2 a : to impair, invalidate, or make ineffective : negate 

b : to have a dulling or inhibiting effect on

Stupid or absurd behavior can be almost laughable at times. That’s the kind of situation depicted in an 1871 London Daily News article, describing how a witness “stultified himself” by admitting that he was too far off to hear what he had claimed to have heard. But there is nothing funny about the now-archaic original usage of stultify. The word was first used in the mid-1700s in legal contexts, where if you stultified yourself, you claimed to be of unsound mind and thus not responsible for your acts. Nor is there humor in the most common meaning of stultify nowadays, that of rendering someone or something useless or ineffective.

We do a lot of things that stunt our growth and inhibit our progress. My vision was unsharp knives…which led me to Synonym’s kitchen tools. Dull knives do more harm than good. I made them look like the letter S, but then I worried that I would stultify it all and if someone missed the creation, they would misunderstand the word and I couldn’t afford that.

Don’t let anyone or anything steal your power or stultify your growth in this world. Surround yourself with those who raise you up and don’t stultify your sparkle.

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