seize up

phrasal verb

seized up; seizing up; seizes up
: to stop working because the moving parts can no longer move
The engine/brakes suddenly seized up.
sometimes used figuratively
Her brain seized up when she tried to answer the question.

Examples of seize up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At times seeming to seize up and at others appearing confused, Biden rambled his way through a 90-minute session against former President Donald Trump. Philip Elliott, TIME, 28 June 2024 But although the sales are generating significant sums, the US State Department estimates that North Korea seizes up to 90% of foreign income generated by its citizens. Chas Newkey-Burden, The Week Uk, theweek, 21 June 2024 Taylor does not shy away from sitting in on difficult points in Dion’s life, including one painful scene in which the singer seizes up after a busy and overstimulating afternoon. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 June 2024 The risotto had seized up, thickening on the table, while the scallops and shrimp were overcooked. Rachel Bernhard, Journal Sentinel, 29 May 2024 The active state seizes up and is unable to take bold action to solve problems or create new opportunities. Michael J. Mazarr, Foreign Affairs, 21 June 2022 Water below 60 degrees can cause cold shock, forcing the body to seize up and resulting in swimming failure and drowning. Shaun Goodwin, Idaho Statesman, 5 June 2024 Mechanical failure, human error and a host of other conditions can conspire to shut down a vessel’s engine, seize up its propulsion system or thwart its crew’s ability to steer. USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2024 One screaming match between Olfa and Karoui’s Rahma is so intense that the real daughters seize up as though their nervous systems just can’t go through this again. Amy Nicholson, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'seize up.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“Seize up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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