Definition of freeze verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//friːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//friːz//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they freeze
    BrE BrE//friːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//friːz//
    he / she / it freezes
    BrE BrE//ˈfriːzɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfriːzɪz//
    past simple froze
    BrE BrE//frəʊz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//froʊz//
    past participle frozen
    BrE BrE//ˈfrəʊzn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfroʊzn//
    -ing form freezing
    BrE BrE//ˈfriːzɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfriːzɪŋ//
    Computer problems, Making films, Banking
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    become ice
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to become hard, and often turn to ice, as a result of extreme cold; to make something do this Water freezes at 0°C. It's so cold that even the river has frozen. freeze something The cold weather had frozen the ground. + adj. The clothes froze solid on the washing line. opposite thaw
  2. of pipe/lock/machine
  3. 2  [intransitive, transitive] if a pipe, lock or machine freezes, or something freezes it, it becomes blocked with frozen liquid and therefore cannot be used freeze (up) The pipes have frozen, so we've got no water. freeze something (up) Ten degrees of frost had frozen the lock on the car.
  4. of weather
  5. 3  [intransitive] when it freezes, the weather is at or below 0° Celsius It may freeze tonight, so bring those plants inside.
  6. be very cold
  7. 4  [intransitive, transitive] to be very cold; to be so cold that you die Every time she opens the window we all freeze. Two men froze to death on the mountain. freeze somebody Two men were frozen to death on the mountain.
  8. food
  9. 5  [transitive] freeze something to keep food at a very low temperature in order to preserve it Can you freeze this cake? These meals are ideal for home freezing.
  10. 6  [intransitive] to be able to be kept at a very low temperature Some fruits freeze better than others.
  11. stop moving
  12. 7  [intransitive] to stop moving suddenly because of fear, etc. I froze with terror as the door slowly opened. (figurative) The smile froze on her lips. The police officer shouted ‘Freeze!’ and the man dropped the gun.
  13. computer
  14. 8[intransitive] when a computer screen freezes, you cannot move any of the images, etc. on it, because there is a problem with the system See related entries: Computer problems
  15. film/movie
  16. 9[transitive] freeze something to stop a film/movie or video in order to look at a particular picture Freeze the action there! see also freeze-frame See related entries: Making films
  17. wages/prices
  18. 10[transitive] freeze something to hold wages, prices, etc. at a fixed level for a period of time synonym peg Salaries have been frozen for the current year.
  19. money/bank account
  20. 11[transitive] freeze something to prevent money, a bank account, etc. from being used by getting a court order which bans it The company's assets have been frozen. See related entries: Banking
  21. Word OriginOld English frēosan (in the phrase hit frēoseth ‘it is freezing’), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vriezen and German frieren, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin pruina ‘hoar frost’ and frost.Extra examples He was so surprised he froze to the spot. His smile froze for a moment. Hundreds of homeless people could freeze to death this winter. Maggie’s face had frozen into a cold mask. Many vegetables freeze very well. Prices have been frozen at this level for over a year now. Salaries were effectively frozen for six months. She froze with horror when she saw the body. Suddenly, Ronny seemed to freeze. The lake has frozen over. The pipes have frozen up. The pond had frozen solid. Turn up the heat—I’m freezing to death! like water freezing into iceIdioms
    freeze your blood, make your blood freeze
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    to make you extremely frightened or shocked See related entries: Fear
    stop/halt somebody in their tracks, stop/halt/freeze in your tracks
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    to suddenly make somebody stop by frightening or surprising them; to suddenly stop because something has frightened or surprised you The question stopped Alice in her tracks. See related entries: Surprise
    Phrasal Verbsfreeze somebodyout (of something)freeze over
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: freeze