verb froze froze (frōz)
, fro·zen (frōˈzən)
, freez·es verb, intransitive
a. To pass from the liquid to the solid state by loss of heat.
b. To acquire a surface or coat of ice from cold: The lake froze over in January. Bridges freeze before the adjacent roads.
- To become clogged or jammed because of the formation of ice: The pipes froze in the basement.
- To be at that degree of temperature at which ice forms: It may freeze tonight.
- To be killed or harmed by cold or frost: They almost froze to death. Mulch keeps garden plants from freezing.
- To be or feel uncomfortably cold: Aren't you freezing without a coat?
a. To become fixed, stuck, or attached by or as if by frost: The lock froze up with rust.
b. To stop functioning properly, usually temporarily: My computer screen froze when I opened the infected program.
a. To become motionless or immobile, as from surprise or attentiveness: I heard a sound and froze in my tracks.
b. To become unable to act or speak, as from fear: froze in front of the audience.
- To become rigid and inflexible; solidify: an opinion that froze into dogma.
a. To convert into ice.
b. To cause ice to form upon.
c. To cause to congeal or stiffen from extreme cold: winter cold that froze the ground.
- To preserve (foods, for example) by subjecting to freezing temperatures.
- To damage, kill, or make inoperative by cold or by the formation of ice.
- To make very cold; chill.
- To immobilize, as with fear or shock.
- To chill with an icy or formal manner: froze me with one look.
- To stop the motion or progress of: The negotiations were frozen by the refusal of either side to compromise.
a. To fix (prices or wages, for example) at a given or current level.
b. To prohibit further manufacture or use of.
c. To prevent or restrict the exchange, withdrawal, liquidation, or granting of by governmental action: freeze investment loans during a depression; froze foreign assets held by U.S. banks.
- To capture or preserve a likeness of, as on film.
a. To photograph (a subject) in mid-action so as to produce a still image.
b. To stop (a moving film) at a particular image.
- To anesthetize by chilling.
- Sports To keep possession of (a ball or puck) so as to deny an opponent the opportunity to score.
Phrasal Verb: freeze out
a. The act of freezing.
b. The state of being frozen.
- A spell of cold weather; a frost.
- A restriction that forbids a quantity from rising above a given or current level: a freeze on city jobs; a proposed freeze on the production of nuclear weapons.
To shut out or exclude, as by cold or unfriendly treatment: The others tried to freeze me out of the conversation.
Origin: Middle English fresen
Origin: , from Old English frēosan; see preus- in Indo-European roots
Related Forms:Word History:
Describing the landscape of Hell in Book II of Paradise Lost,
Milton depicts “a frozen Continent . . . beat with perpetual storms . . . the parching Air Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire.” It is evident from these lines that frore
has some relationship to frozen,
but what exactly is it? The Modern English paradigm for the verb freeze
is freeze, froze, frozen,
with a z
throughout. However, in Old English, the principal parts were frēosan, frēas, froren.
in the past participle froren
is from a prehistoric s
that became r
by Verner's Law, a sound shift that changed s
in certain positions into r.
(The effects of Verner's Law can also be seen in such modern English pairs as was
) During the Middle English period, a new past participle frosen
was created using the s
from the first two principal parts; this survives as frozen
nowadays. The older participle, spelled froren
in Middle English, lived on as a poetic word for “cold,” but well before Milton's day it had become archaic in the standard language.