- Geology. to convert into a fossil; replace organic with mineral substances in the remains of an organism.
- to change as if into mere lifeless remains or traces of the past.
- to make rigidly antiquated: Time has fossilized such methods.
- to become a fossil or like a fossil: The plant fossilized in comparatively recent geologic time.
- Linguistics. (of a linguistic form, feature, rule, etc.) to become permanently established in the interlanguage of a second-language learner in a form that is deviant from the target-language norm and that continues to appear in performance regardless of further exposure to the target language.
Also especially British, fos·sil·ise.
Origin of fossilize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for fossilized
But many, and probably most, rules persist as fossilized remains of now-forgotten controversies.'Transparency' is Overrated
July 11, 2012
Imagine a world in which every action is governed by fossilized customs.The Mother of Title IX: Trailblazing Athlete Eleonora Sears
Peggy Miller Franck
June 22, 2012
We are still speaking of his fossilized herbaria, not his modern specimens.Life: Its True Genesis
R. W. Wright
Myrtle fossilized them as suddenly as if she had been a Gorgon instead of a beauty.The Guardian Angel
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Wise men use the word 'fossilized' when they speak of what has happened to it.Our Little German Cousin
Mary Hazelton Wade
It is strange indeed that these ethereal creatures should be fossilized at all.Butterflies Worth Knowing
Clarence M. Weed
Comparative number of living and fossilized species of plants.Principles of Geology
- to convert or be converted into a fossil
- to become or cause to become antiquated or inflexible
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for fossilized
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper