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

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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

Thousands from across the country stood for hours on a square outside the St. Sophia Cathedral since the early morning in freezing temperatures. James Marson, WSJ, "Ukraine Creates ‘a Church Without Putin’," 15 Dec. 2018 Note: The total time does not include freezing time. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Cranberry 75 Punch," 14 Nov. 2018 Without these gases, Earth would be freezing and uninhabitable for us. Emily Hernandez, Teen Vogue, "What Is Climate Change? Everything You Need To Know About Global Warming," 17 July 2018 Like someone continually turning up the thermostat in a freezing apartment, Venezuelans were demanding greater democratic rights and stronger democratic institutions. Christopher Claassen, Washington Post, "Support for democracy is declining — but not in the U.S. or other Western democracies," 5 July 2018 The sanctions had left Glencore in a hole: Mr Gertler had sued it in Congo, and had won a freezing order on its assets. The Economist, "Glencore dodges American sanctions rather than spurn its friends," 21 June 2018 She was detained upon arriving in Arizona on May 14 after a two-month journey that involved going hungry and sleeping in the freezing Sonora desert of northern Mexico. Marcos Aleman And Joshua Goodman, USA TODAY, "Families fleeing violence keep coming to US illegally despite Trump zero tolerance policy," 21 June 2018 But winter weather is also a hindrance because freezing and thawing cycles can degrade concrete and other building materials more quickly. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Mississippi River lock and dam system is critical to the economy. But it's falling apart fast.," 1 June 2018 Two weeks ago, more than 200 asylum seekers, many of them with children, huddled in freezing temperatures along the bridges linking Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, Texas. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexico in Talks With U.S. Over Plan to Require Migrants to Stay on Its Side of Border," 24 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to the clinic's website, its fees for egg freezing are $8,345 for the initial cycle and $6,995 for each subsequent round. Jenna Johnson,, "Fertility clinic informs hundreds of patients their eggs may have been damaged," 11 Mar. 2018 Temperatures will dip below freezing and visibility could be reduced But what is an advisory? Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "The NWS has issued a winter weather advisory. What does that mean?," 11 Jan. 2018 As the holiday season rapidly approaches and temperatures begin to drop below freezing, Netflix marathons are going to be the only activity that seems appealing on the weekends. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything Coming to Netflix this December," 21 Nov. 2018 By now there’s a good chance that our frosties have helped to train an incoming embryologist, or to test a new freezing technique. Elissa Strauss, Glamour, "The Great Frozen Embryo Debate," 11 Oct. 2018 Coolant does raises the boiling point of the cooling system in summer, lowers the freezing point in winter, and protects the engine and cooling system from corrosion. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "Choosing the Right Coolant for Your Car," 4 Sep. 2018 When temperatures drop below freezing, locals at these bars get busy developing award-winning beverage programs to spark their homegrown spirits. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "America’s Coolest Drinking City," 22 June 2018 Sea ice floats on the ocean and has an annual cycle of freezing in the winter and melting each summer. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Could the Arctic have ice-free summers in our lifetime?," 2 Apr. 2018 But egg freezing is expensive (up to $18,000 per cycle) and uncertain. Robin Marantz Henig, WIRED, "Women May Have an Alternative to Freezing Their Eggs," 27 Mar. 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.

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First Known Use of freezing


circa 1616 , in the meaning defined at sense 2


1777, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for freezing

Last Updated

28 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for freezing

The first known use of freezing was circa 1616

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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

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