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freeze - definition and synonyms

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verb     freeze pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefreezing
past tensefroze
past participlefrozen
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if water freezes, or if something freezes it, it gets very cold and changes into ice
    frozen solid (=completely hard):

    The water in the cat’s bowl was frozen solid.

    1. a.
      if a liquid freezes or something freezes it, it becomes solid because it has reached a low temperature
    2. b.
      if a substance freezes, or if something freezes it, it becomes very cold and hard

      The soil had frozen.

    3. c.
      if a pipe freezes, or if the weather freezes it, the water inside it becomes ice
    4. d.
      if something such as a lock or a machine freezes, or if something freezes it, it gets stuck and cannot move

      The blanket had frozen to the windscreen.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to preserve food or drink by making it extremely cold in a freezer

    You should freeze meat on the day that you buy it.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [intransitive] if food freezes, you can preserve it in this way

      Strawberries don’t freeze very well.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      [transitive] if you freeze a human body or a part of the body, you preserve it by making it extremely cold

      The embryos are frozen at minus 20 degrees and stored.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to feel extremely cold

    You’ll freeze if you go out in that thin coat.

    freeze to death (=die from being very cold):

    The lambs looked as if they had frozen to death in the snow.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if it freezes, the temperature of the air goes down to 0° Celsius or below
  5. 5
    [intransitive] to stop moving and keep completely still

    Freeze! Don’t move a muscle!

    Kate froze in horror when she saw all the blood.

    frozen to the spot (=unable to move because you are frightened or shocked):

    I stood frozen to the spot, unable to believe my eyes.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [intransitive] to stop moving or making progress

      Their wine glasses frozen in mid-air, they all stared at me.

      It seemed as though time had frozen.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] computing if a computer screen freezes, or if something freezes it, the images on it become completely still and you cannot move them because there is something wrong with the computer
  6. 6
    [transitive] economics to say officially that the rate or level of something must stay the same and not increase

    Wages were frozen until the end of December.

    We are freezing prices at 2006 levels.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to legally stop a supply of money from being available to someone

    The courts have frozen her bank account.

    freeze someone’s assets (=stop someone selling their property to make money):

    The company’s assets could be frozen by the banks.

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