verb (used with object), im·mo·bi·lized, im·mo·bi·liz·ing.

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, im·mo·bi·lise.

Origin of immobilize

1870–75; immobile + -ize; see mobilize and compare French immobiliser
Related formsim·mo·bi·li·za·tion, nounim·mo·bi·liz·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for immobilize

Contemporary Examples of immobilize

Historical Examples of immobilize

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for immobilize



verb (tr)

to make or become immobileto immobilize a car
  1. to remove (specie) from circulation and hold it as a reserve
  2. to convert (circulating capital) into fixed capital
Derived Formsimmobilization or immobilisation, nounimmobilizer or 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

Word Origin and History for immobilize

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

immobilize in Medicine




To render immobile.
To fix the position of a joint or fractured limb, as with a splint or cast.
Related formsim•mo′bi•li•zation (-lĭ-zāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.