freez·​ing | \ˈfrē-ziŋ \

Definition of freezing 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : very cold "Put on your jacket. It's freezing outside!" Addy rushed home through the darkening streets as if she were pushed along by the wind. She was freezing!— Connie Porter

2 : being at or below the temperature at which water freezes a forecast for freezing temperatures overnight



Definition of freezing (Entry 2 of 2)

: the temperature at which water freezes temperatures dipping below freezing

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from freezing


freezing adverb
The weather was freezing cold. [=very cold]
freezingly adverb
freezingly cold temperatures Mrs. Reed's hands still lay on her work inactive: her eye of ice continued to dwell freezingly on mine. — Charlotte Brontë

Examples of freezing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

With temperatures now warming above the freezing mark, homeowners are discovering water leaks and rushing to call plumbers for help. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "Insurance claims from broken water pipes going up, says Insurance Council of Texas," 19 Jan. 2018 Soldiers on Attu, the only land battle of the campaign, trudged through waist-deep snow in leather boots unsuitable for the freezing conditions. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "Thousands of Japanese fought in a bloody World War II battle for the Aleutians. Only 28 survived.," 24 May 2018 Every extreme marathon poses unique challenges, whether surviving the gut-churning Drake Passage to run in freezing conditions in Antarctica or the steep ascents, descents, and countless steps to reach Machu Picchu in Peru. Naureen S. Malik,, "If the Boston Marathon is too easy, try these crazy runs," 13 Apr. 2018 Buy Photo Despite the snow flurries, ice pellets, and freezing conditions, Sidney Davis stopped by Rita’s Italian Ice at 21st and South Streets on Tuesday afternoon to pick up a free cup of water ice. Bethany Ao,, "These people braved the nor'easter for a Philly tradition: free Rita's Water Ice," 20 Mar. 2018 The freezing conditions will last through the first 10 days of March for Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia and could bring heavy snowfall, Dobson said. Jesper Starn,, "Icy Blast Hitting Europe Sets Up Winter's Coldest Week," 23 Feb. 2018 Generally, do not water your plants in freezing conditions but shrubs growing underneath the eaves of a house are susceptible to drought damage. Samantha Swindler,, "People are still playing Pokemon Go, apparently: Forest Grove police log," 19 Feb. 2018 Dog owners who keep their pets outside without proper shelter between December and April or in freezing weather could face fines under a proposed law before the Howard County Council. Kate Magill, Howard County Times, "Howard proposal adds teeth to laws on leaving dogs outdoors in frigid weather," 7 June 2018 Roads designed for freezing temperatures are thawing. Andrea Pitzer, Washington Post, "In the deepest Arctic, sled dogs, polar bears and famed seed vault face melting snow and ice," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The low is 33 in Houston, while areas in northern Harris County and Montgomery County can expect below-freezing temperatures, with a low of 27 in Conroe. Meagan Flynn, Houston Chronicle, "Wind, cold in Houston-area forecast Friday," 12 Jan. 2018 The deadly rainstorm that sent rivers of mud crashing into dozens of Southern California homes is sweeping eastward — and threatening snow, flooding and flash freezing for 72 million Americans through the weekend. Erin Mcgarry, NBC News, "Winter storm that slammed California set to menace Plains, New England," 11 Jan. 2018 Black ice often forms at night, when the dew point is near freezing and the cold pavement turns moisture to ice. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Black Ice, Near-Death, and Transcendence on I-91," 2 Apr. 2018 If the fruit is refrigerated to near freezing, and the humidity maintained at 95 percent (with a plastic bag having just a few small holes, for example), the fruit will store for 9 months! The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Your Own Kiwis In Your Backyard," 6 Feb. 2018 As written, the Agreed Framework, a more-than-950-word document, required far more North Korean concessions than Trump’s 350-word document, including the admission of international inspectors and the freezing of reactors, experts said. John Hudson, Washington Post, "Compared with Trump, previous presidents extracted more concessions from N. Korea, experts say," 12 June 2018 Large numbers of Gaza families have been pushed deeper into poverty in recent months by Palestinian political infighting and the freezing of United States aid. The Christian Science Monitor, "Amid growing poverty in Gaza, aid trickles in," 8 June 2018 Large numbers of Gaza families have been pushed deeper into poverty in recent months by Palestinian political infighting and the freezing of U.S. aid. Fox News, "As aid dries up, Gaza families pushed deeper into poverty," 7 June 2018 Another tip is to have a running water source or water pump that keeps water from getting stagnant, which significantly delays or even prevents the freezing of water. Kate Hogan,, "Does My Dog Need a Jacket in the Cold? Answers to All of Your Burning (or, Freezing?) Winter Pet Questions," 17 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of freezing


circa 1616 , in the meaning defined at sense 2


1777, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about freezing

Statistics for freezing

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for freezing

The first known use of freezing was circa 1616

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on freezing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freezing

Spanish Central: Translation of freezing

Nglish: Translation of freezing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of freezing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on freezing

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!