\ ˈfrēz How to pronounce freeze (audio) \
froze\ ˈfrōz How to pronounce froze (audio) \; frozen\ ˈfrō-​zᵊn How to pronounce frozen (audio) \; freezing

Definition of freeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to become congealed into ice by cold
b : to solidify as a result of abstraction of heat
c : to withstand freezing the bread freezes well
2 : to become chilled with cold almost froze to death
3 : to adhere solidly by or as if by freezing pressure caused the metals to freeze
4 : to become fixed or motionless especially : to become incapable of acting or speaking
5 : to become clogged with ice the water pipes froze

transitive verb

1a : to harden into ice
b : to convert from a liquid to a solid by cold
2 : to make extremely cold : chill
3a : to act on usually destructively by frost
b : to anesthetize by cold
4 : to cause to grip tightly or remain in immovable contact
5a : to cause to become fixed, immovable, unavailable, or unalterable freeze interest rates
b : to immobilize by governmental regulation the expenditure, withdrawal, or exchange of freeze foreign assets
c : to render motionless a fake froze the defender
6 : to attempt to retain continuous possession of (a ball or puck) without an attempt to score usually in order to protect a small lead



Definition of freeze (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of freezing
b : the state of being frozen
2 : a state of weather marked by low temperature especially when below the freezing point
3 : a halt in the production, testing, and deployment of military weapons a nuclear freeze

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Synonyms & Antonyms for freeze

Synonyms: Verb

concrete, congeal, firm (up), harden, indurate, set, solidify

Synonyms: Noun

cold, cold wave, deep freeze, snap

Antonyms: Verb

liquefy (also liquify), soften

Antonyms: Noun

heat, heat wave

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Examples of freeze in a Sentence


The children are going to freeze out there without their coats. The cold weather froze the water pipes.


The freeze destroyed many oranges. the Midwest will experience an intense freeze later in the week
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And adding volume to the mix, Fashion East served up tidal waves of windswept texture, frozen in place with heavy gel, of course. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "5 Beauty Trends That Swept the London Runways This Week," 20 Feb. 2019 One of the most prevalent of them all is CoolSculpting, a quick treatment in which a areas of fat are frozen on a patient's body. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About CoolSculpting (and Were Too Afraid to Ask)," 11 Jan. 2019 Unlike the mousse our mothers used that dried out hair and froze it in all its permed glory, mousse formulas today are more elegant and hydrating. Amy Marturana, SELF, "17 Styling Tricks Women with Fine, Flat Hair Need to Know," 21 Dec. 2018 Cook double batches of meals and freeze them in individual portions for busy days. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "The Simple Diet Change That Helped One Woman Get Her Diabetes Under Control," 15 Oct. 2018 There’s a part of Camille that stayed frozen in adolescence, unable to move on or heal, which is not at all uncommon for victims of abuse (more on that in a moment). Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Camille Reckons with the Ghosts of Her Recent Past in Sharp Objects Episode 3," 23 July 2018 Lotus are native to Asia and Australia, but they can be grown anywhere the bottom of a water bed doesn’t freeze in the winter. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, "Photos: Bumblebees swarm Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens as lotus flowers reach peak bloom," 9 July 2018 Instead of pushing a baby jogger ahead of you with arms frozen in place, the Kid Runner carriage tracks behind you via a waist belt, allowing your arms to swing free. Roy M. Wallack,, "Summer is calling: Fitness gear to get you outdoors – and moving," 5 July 2018 My main complaint with Season 2 was that too many characters seemed frozen in place. Wired Staff, WIRED, "We Need to Talk About That Westworld Season 2 Finale," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But a freeze and denuclearization are completely different things. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "How Trump Went From ‘Fire and Fury’ to Dismissing North Korean Nuclear Advances," 4 July 2018 In response to the Equifax breach that exposed personal information for more than 145 million Americans, the bill requires free credit freezes for all consumers affected by data breaches. Marcy Gordon,, "Congress moves to end key post-crisis bank rules," 22 May 2018 The move shows how trade and other non-political ties have been relatively unaffected by the diplomatic freeze instituted two years ago by China, which claims Taiwan as a part of its territory to be annexed by force if necessary. Fox News, "Taiwan's Kinmen island begins importing water from China," 6 Aug. 2018 The payment freeze could lead to instability in the market and cause a premium spike by the fall, the New York Times’s Robert Pear notes. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Medicare for all is new Democratic mantra in congressional races," 9 July 2018 Political observers think the freeze began over disagreements about Mayor Kenney’s soda tax. Chris Brennan,, "The Democratic establishment is standing behind Daylin Leach after #MeToo allegations | Clout," 15 June 2018 Even the beaches will see a light freeze overnight. CBS News, "Brutal cold follows massive East Coast winter storm -- live updates," 7 Jan. 2018 The company didn’t mention the government’s freeze on videogame approvals in its prepared earnings remarks, suggesting that Tencent wanted to avoid agitating the government, according to a person familiar with the company’s approach. Liza Lin, WSJ, "A Chill From Beijing Buffets China’s Tech Sector," 27 Dec. 2018 During Shanahan’s tenure, in April 2015, more than 100 students took over a regents dinner meeting at the University of Washington Club, demanding higher wages, a freeze on tuition and better working conditions. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "Trump pick for acting defense secretary brings a knack for complex issues honed at UW, Boeing," 24 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freeze.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of freeze


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for freeze


Middle English fresen, from Old English frēosan; akin to Old High German friosan to freeze, Latin pruina hoarfrost, Old English frost frost

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Statistics for freeze

Last Updated

28 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for freeze

The first known use of freeze was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for freeze



English Language Learners Definition of freeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become a hard substance (such as ice) because of cold
: to be very cold
: to become blocked or unable to move because of ice



English Language Learners Definition of freeze (Entry 2 of 2)

: a period in which the weather is very cold : a time when temperatures are below 32°F or 0°C
: a stop in the increase, decrease, or change of prices or wages


\ ˈfrēz How to pronounce freeze (audio) \
froze\ ˈfrōz \; frozen\ ˈfrō-​zᵊn \; freezing

Kids Definition of freeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to harden into or be hardened into a solid (as ice) by loss of heat freeze blueberries The river froze over.
2 : to be uncomfortably cold It's freezing in here. I'm frozen.
3 : to damage by cold The plants were frozen by heavy frost.
4 : to clog or become clogged by ice Water pipes froze overnight.
5 : to become completely still I was so startled, I froze.



Kids Definition of freeze (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a period of freezing weather : cold weather
2 : the state of being frozen in a deep freeze


\ ˈfrēz How to pronounce freeze (audio) \
froze\ ˈfrōz How to pronounce froze (audio) \; frozen\ ˈfrōz-​ᵊn How to pronounce frozen (audio) \; freezing

Medical Definition of freeze

intransitive verb

1 : to become hardened into a solid (as ice) by loss of heat
2a : to become chilled with cold almost froze to death
b : to anesthetize a part especially by cold

transitive verb

1 : to cause to harden into a solid (as ice) by loss of heat
2 : to make extremely cold : chill
3a : to act on usually destructively by frost
b : to anesthetize by cold

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froze; frozen; freezing

Legal Definition of freeze

1 : to cause to become fixed, immovable, unavailable, or unalterable freeze interest rates
2 : to immobilize (as by government regulation or the action of a financial institution) the expenditure, withdrawal, or exchange of freeze foreign assets
3 : to restructure (the capital of a close corporation) so that the value is reflected mostly in preferred stock rather than common stock

Note: Once capital is frozen, the common shares can be transferred to the heirs of the owner without taxation while the owner continues to enjoy the income from preferred stock dividends during his or her lifetime.

Other Words from freeze

freeze noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on freeze

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with freeze

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freeze

Spanish Central: Translation of freeze

Nglish: Translation of freeze for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of freeze for Arabic Speakers

Comments on freeze

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