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See more synonyms for immobilize on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), im·mo·bi·lized, im·mo·bi·liz·ing.
  1. to make immobile or immovable; fix in place.
  2. to prevent the use, activity, or movement of: The hurricane immobilized the airlines.
  3. to deprive of the capacity for mobilization: The troops were immobilized by the enemy.
  4. 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.
  5. to render (an opponent's strategy) ineffective; stymie.
  6. Finance.
    1. to establish a monetary reserve by withdrawing (specie) from circulation.
    2. to create fixed capital in place of (circulating capital).
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for immobilize

paralyze, debilitate, shatter, incapacitate, impair, cripple, mutilate, mangle, disarm, clog, shackle, restrain, invalidate, harm, hamstring, enfeeble, unfit, enervate, sap, hock

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

immobilize in Medicine


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