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: a substance that is added to the water in a vehicle's engine to prevent it from freezing
Full Definition of ANTIFREEZE
: a substance added to a liquid (as the water in an automobile engine) to lower its freezing point
: any of various substances (as proteins or alcohols) that are found in some living organisms (as certain fish and insects) and serve to lower the freezing point of body fluids especially by limiting ice crystal growth
Any substance that lowers the freezing point of water, protecting a system from the ill effects of ice formation. Antifreezes such as ethylene glycol or propylene glycol commonly added to water in automobile cooling systems prevent damage to radiators. Additives to prevent freezing of water in gasoline (e.g., Drygas) usually contain methanol or isopropanol. Organisms that must survive freezing temperatures use various chemicals to inhibit ice crystal formation in their cells and tissues: glycerol or dimethyl sulfoxide in insects, glycerol or trehalose in other invertebrates (nematodes, rotifers), and proteins in Antarctic fishes.