to become hardened into ice or into a solid body; change from the liquid to the solid state by loss of heat.
to become hard or stiffened because of loss of heat, as objects containing moisture: Meat will freeze in a few hours.
to suffer the effects of intense cold; have the sensation of extreme cold: We sat there freezing until the heat came on.
to be of the degree of cold at which water freezes: It may freeze tonight.
to lose warmth of feeling; be stunned or chilled with fear, shock, etc.: My heart froze when she told me the news.
to become immobilized through fear, shock, etc.: When he got in front of the audience he froze.
to stop suddenly and remain motionless; halt: I froze in my tracks.
to become obstructed by the formation of ice, as pipes: Our basement water pipes often freeze in winter.
to die or be injured because of frost or cold.
(of a screw, nail, or the like) to become rigidly fixed in place, as from rust or dirt.
to become fixed to something by or as if by the action of frost.
to become unfriendly, secretive, or aloof (often followed by up): He froze at such a personal question.
Digital Technology. (of hardware or software) to become temporarily inoperable; cease to function (often followed by up): The new software made my laptop freeze.
to harden into ice; change from a fluid to a solid form by loss of heat; congeal.
to form ice on the surface of (a river, pond, etc.).
to harden or stiffen (an object containing moisture) by cold.
to subject to freezing temperature; place in a freezer or in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator.
to cause to suffer the effects of intense cold; produce the sensation of extreme cold in.
to cause to lose warmth as if by cold; chill with fear; dampen the enthusiasm of.
to cause (a person or animal) to become fixed through fright, alarm, shock, etc.: Terror froze him to the steering wheel.
to kill by frost or cold: A late snow froze the buds.
to fix fast with ice: a sled frozen to a sidewalk.
to obstruct or close (a pipe or the like) by the formation of ice: The storm had frozen the hydrant.
to fix (rents, prices, etc.) at a specific amount, usually by government order.
to stop or limit production, use, or development of: an agreement to freeze nuclear weapons.
Finance. to render impossible of liquidation or collection: Bank loans are frozen in business depressions.
Digital Technology. to render (hardware or software) temporarily inoperable: Ironically, it was a security update for my operating system that froze my computer.
Surgery. to render part of the body insensitive to pain or slower in its function by artificial means.
Canasta. to play a wild card on (the discard pile) so as to make it frozen.
Poker. to eliminate (other players) in a game of freezeout.
to photograph (a moving subject) at a shutter speed fast enough to produce an unblurred, seemingly motionless image.
Movies. to stop by means of a freeze-frame mechanism: You can freeze the action at any point.
Sports. to maintain possession of (a ball or puck) for as long as possible, usually without trying to score, thereby reducing the opponent's opportunities for scoring.
Ice Hockey. to hold (a puck) against the boards with the skates or stick, causing play to stop and forcing a face-off.
the act of freezing; state of being frozen.
Also called ice-up .Meteorology. a widespread occurrence of temperatures below 32°F (0°C) persisting for at least several days: A freeze is expected in the coastal areas.
Digital Technology. a cease in function when software gets caught in loops or hardware lacks sufficient processing power to continue a task.
a legislative action, especially in time of national emergency, to control prices, rents, production, etc.: The government put a freeze on new construction.
a decision by one or more nations to stop or limit production or development of weapons, especially nuclear weapons.
freeze on / onto Informal. to adhere closely to; hold on; seize.
freeze out, to exclude or compel (somebody) to withdraw from membership, acceptance, a position of influence or advantage, etc., by cold treatment or severe competition.
freeze over, to coat or become coated with ice: The lake freezes over for several months each year.
- freez·a·ble, adjective
- freez·a·bil·i·ty, noun
- de·freeze, verb (used with object), de·froze, de·fro·zen, de·freez·ing.
- non·freez·a·ble, adjective
- post·freeze, adjective
- pre·freeze, verb (used with object), pre·froze, pre·fro·zen, pre·freez·ing.
- re·freez·a·ble, adjective
- re·freeze, verb, re·froze, re·fro·zen, re·freez·ing.
- un·freez·a·ble, adjective
- freeze , frieze
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use freeze in a sentence
Most or all spots except right near the water should see a freeze.PM Update: Clear and cold tonight, then it’s a bit warmer Thursday | Ian Livingston | December 2, 2020 | Washington Post
The system was among the first in the country to announce service cuts and a hiring freeze in hopes of conserving cash.Transit system service cuts proposed in Congress’s backyard elicit calls for more funding | Justin George, Lori Aratani, Meagan Flynn | December 2, 2020 | Washington Post
Patchy frost and freeze spots are possible — bring in those outdoor plants if you’ve potted them!D.C.-area forecast: Raindrops end this morning, then it gradually clears with breezy conditions | A. Camden Walker | October 30, 2020 | Washington Post
The visa freeze is due to expire at the end of the year, and people such as Bowman have vowed to keep their doors open once a new season starts, probably next year.Can Small-Town America Survive Pandemic’s Hit to Minor League Baseball? | Charu Kasturi | September 14, 2020 | Ozy
BBC Global News, the commercial, international arm of the BBC, has, like other publishers, weathered sudden double-digit percentage drops in digital ad revenue over the last six months from coronavirus-induced spending freezes.‘We’re getting more used to the uncertainty’: BBC Global News chief on ad-funded news | Lucinda Southern | September 10, 2020 | Digiday
The quandary of whether to freeze eggs or not could become irrelevant overnight.
But with the outbreak of hostilities in mid-2011, all festivities were thrust into the deep freeze.In One Corner of Syria, Christmas Spirit Somehow Manages to Survive | Peter Schwartzstein | December 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
To get the product from manufacturer to arm, the product is lyophilized (a fancy word for freeze dried).Powdered Measles Vaccine Could Be Huge for Developing World | Kent Sepkowitz | December 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
MAKE IT AHEAD: Assemble the pot pies completely, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a month.
Some time passes, another performer tests positive, another temporary production freeze.Risky Business or None of Your Business? Gay XXX Films and the Condom Question | Aurora Snow | November 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I have paid to have a fire kept up in the furnace for a week so that the pipes would not freeze.The Girls of Central High on the Stage | Gertrude W. Morrison
Cold words freeze people, and hot words scorch them, and bitter words make them bitter, and wrathful words make them wrathful.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness | Florence Hartley
When the soil pipe from a water-closet is exposed in cold weather it may freeze up or be clogged by urinary deposits.Essays In Pastoral Medicine | Austin Malley
The newcomer would import an element of caste and class which would freeze mother and daughter to the bones.You Never Know Your Luck, Complete | Gilbert Parker
Even while she gazed there crept over her a sensation of deadly fear and dread, that seemed to freeze the very blood in her veins.They Looked and Loved | Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller
British Dictionary definitions for freeze
to change (a liquid) into a solid as a result of a reduction in temperature, or (of a liquid) to solidify in this way, esp to convert or be converted into ice
(when intr, sometimes foll by over or up) to cover, clog, or harden with ice, or become so covered, clogged, or hardened: the lake froze over last week
to fix fast or become fixed (to something) because of the action of frost
(tr) to preserve (food) by subjection to extreme cold, as in a freezer
to feel or cause to feel the sensation or effects of extreme cold
to die or cause to die of frost or extreme cold
to become or cause to become paralysed, fixed, or motionless, esp through fear, shock, etc: he froze in his tracks
(tr) to cause (moving film) to stop at a particular frame
to decrease or cause to decrease in animation or vigour
to make or become formal, haughty, etc, in manner
(tr) to fix (prices, incomes, etc) at a particular level, usually by government direction
(tr) to forbid by law the exchange, liquidation, or collection of (loans, assets, etc)
(tr) to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or use of (something specified)
(tr) to stop (a process) at a particular stage of development
(tr) informal to render (tissue or a part of the body) insensitive, as by the application or injection of a local anaesthetic
(intr foll by onto) informal, mainly US to cling
the act of freezing or state of being frozen
meteorol a spell of temperatures below freezing point, usually over a wide area
the fixing of incomes, prices, etc, by legislation
another word for frost
mainly US a command to stop still instantly or risk being shot
- freezable, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for freeze
To change from a liquid to a solid state by cooling or being cooled to the freezing point.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.