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[ih-moh-buh-lahyz] /ɪˈmoʊ bəˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), immobilized, immobilizing.
to make immobile or immovable; fix in place.
to prevent the use, activity, or movement of:
The hurricane immobilized the airlines.
to deprive of the capacity for mobilization:
The troops were immobilized by the enemy.
Medicine/Medical. to prevent, restrict, or reduce normal movement in (the body, a limb, or a joint), as by a splint, cast, or prescribed bed rest.
to render (an opponent's strategy) ineffective; stymie.
  1. to establish a monetary reserve by withdrawing (specie) from circulation.
  2. to create fixed capital in place of (circulating capital).
Also, especially British, immobilise.
Origin of immobilize
1870-75; immobile + -ize; see mobilize and compare French immobiliser
Related forms
immobilization, noun
immobilizer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for immobilize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You immobilize the elevators—think what that would mean in lower and midtown Manhattan alone.

    Day of the Moron Henry Beam Piper
  • The latter clawed and bit with a fury which suggested Togi intended to immobilize that weapon by tearing it to shreds.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • Braces and other mechanical appliances intended to immobilize the parts are not of practical benefit in the horse.

    Lameness of the Horse

    John Victor Lacroix
  • The other part was that he could kill or immobilize anybody in the world—or everybody—from any distance.

    The Mightiest Man Patrick Fahy
  • Certain cases resisting such procedures are best treated with a plaster of Paris cast to immobilize the part for several months.

  • In March 1942 the government launched repressive measures in an attempt to immobilize communist activities.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria

    Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
British Dictionary definitions for immobilize


verb (transitive)
to make or become immobile: to immobilize a car
  1. to remove (specie) from circulation and hold it as a reserve
  2. to convert (circulating capital) into fixed capital
Derived Forms
immobilization, immobilisation, noun
immobilizer, immobiliser, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for immobilize

1843, from immobile + -ize. Cf. French immobiliser (1835). Related: Immobilized; immobilizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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immobilize in Medicine

immobilize im·mo·bi·lize (ĭ-mō'bə-līz')
v. im·mo·bi·lized, im·mo·bi·liz·ing, im·mo·bi·liz·es

  1. To render immobile.

  2. To fix the position of a joint or fractured limb, as with a splint or cast.

im·mo'bi·li·za'tion (-lĭ-zā'shən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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