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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — gorgonize


Good morning, Netizens...


November 05, 2012

Word of the Day


  • gorgonize

  • audio pronunciation

  • \GOR-guh-nyze\




: to have a paralyzing or mesmerizing effect on : stupefy, petrify



Dave joked that his boss's angry glare could gorgonize an employee in mid-complaint.

"Izzy asked Sol why he was willing to take us. She gave him a look that would gorgonize." — From W.S. Milner's 2001 book In Translation



In Greek mythology, the Gorgons (from the Greek adjective "gorgos," meaning "terrifying") were commonly depicted as three female monsters who had snakes for hair and the ability to turn anyone who looked at them into stone. The most notorious of the three was Medusa; when she was slain by the hero Perseus, her severed head retained the power of turning anyone who looked on it to stone. In modern parlance, to gorgonize someone is to make him or her feel (metaphorically) petrified, usually through an intimidating glance or gaze.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.