verb (used with object), fos·sil·ized, fos·sil·iz·ing.
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.
verb (used without object), fos·sil·ized, fos·sil·iz·ing.
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
Related formsfos·sil·iz·a·ble, adjectivefos·sil·i·za·tion, nounsem·i·fos·sil·ized, adjectiveun·fos·sil·ized, adjective
First recorded in 1785–95; fossil
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for fossilization
Historical Examples of fossilization
Such hard parts or shells were commonly favorable for fossilization.
To evoking the instincts of bygone ages, which have not been preserved by fossilization?
Till men began to wonder at the stratification of rocks, and the fossilization of shells, there was no science of Geology.
A very common kind of fossilization is the preservation of only the hard parts of organisms.
Glimpses there were of the handy, affectionate, sympathizing woman, emerging from fossilization.
British Dictionary definitions for fossilization
Derived Formsfossilizable or fossilisable, adjectivefossilization or fossilisation, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for fossilization
1794, from fossil + -ize. Figurative use from 1856. Related: Fossilized; fossilizing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper