\ 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

The best programs offer egg freezing for $15,000 to $20,000. Hannah Selinger, Glamour, "I Spent $17K Freezing Eggs—And I Regret Every Penny," 22 Apr. 2019 The actions taken Thursday come less than a month after the collapse of talks between the two countries over freezing North Korea’s weapons programs in exchange for sanctions relief. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Treasury Department Accuses North Korea of Evading U.S. Sanctions," 21 Mar. 2019 Investigators later determined that two of the plane's angle-of-attack sensors had frozen in place, causing them to feed bad data. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "4 Times Before the Boeing 737 Max 8 That Plane Automation Software Went Haywire," 18 Mar. 2019 Spring's biggest nail art trend is for anyone who's ever stood, frozen, in front of a colorful wall of nail polish. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Gradient Nails Are the Prettiest New Manicure Trend for Spring," 15 Mar. 2019 Wrap between 2 sheets of waxed paper and freeze for 20 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Lemon Thyme Coin Cookies," 30 Nov. 2018 Serving and storing leftovers: Serve immediately, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months., "These Vanilla Cupcakes Are Made With Cauliflower—and You’d Never Know It," 10 July 2018 Continue to stir until the cup begins to freeze on the outside. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "How to Make a Mint Julep Just as Good as the Ones Served at the Kentucky Derby," 28 Mar. 2019 Last year, property values increased an average of 13 percent in the county, before commissioners voted to freeze them at 2016 levels. Arielle Kass, ajc, "Property taxes expected to rise in Fulton County and cities," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Disclosed late Friday, the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control expanded the trading freeze that had earlier hit bonds of the country’s oil producer to also include debt directly issued by the government. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Venezuelan Bonds Caught in Fresh U.S. Sanctions Moves," 5 Feb. 2019 The only feasible option, in his opinion, for pets that will still look like your pet is freeze-dry taxidermy, which is essentially giving your pet’s body freezer burn to preserve it, Baratta explains. Jen A. Miller, SELF, "When My Dog Died, I Discovered a Thriving Pet Funeral Industry I Never Knew Existed," 9 Apr. 2019 Last Saturday evening, while another deep polar freeze descended on the midwest forcing icy streets into abandonment, the Palladium in Lafayette Square in St. Louis was alive with art and irreverence. Vogue, "The St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum Hosts its Biennial Dada Ball & Bash," 8 Mar. 2019 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday presented a $92.2 billion budget that would continue to expand spending, while calling for a citywide cost-savings program, implementing a hiring freeze and warning that tax revenue will fall short. Katie Honan, WSJ, "De Blasio’s Budget Calls for Cost-Savings, Hiring Freeze at City Agencies," 7 Feb. 2019 The wolf and the dragon, who are placed further north (because Jon and Dany will be at Winterfell when Season 8 starts), freeze. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Game of Thrones Season 8 Teaser Is Here and Fans Already Have Theories," 7 Dec. 2018 Stuttering framerates and brief freezes were not uncommon occurrences on our Xbox One X, and even after a massive 47GB patch, there were still instances of servers disconnecting or the game crashing to the main menu. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 The West Virginia teachers went on strike over rising health care costs, eventually securing a pay bump and a freeze on insurance premiums. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Is employer-sponsored insurance really a good deal for workers?," 7 Feb. 2019 Our little suburban enclave had a complete taxonomy of bad road, from freeze-thaw potholes deep enough to reach the earth’s molten core, to aging asphalt that crumbled away in sheets. John Kelly, Washington Post, "From potholes to perfect pavement: My neighborhood has lovely new streets," 24 June 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

9 May 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

What made you want to look up freeze? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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