Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “freeze”

See all translations

freeze

verb uk   /friːz/ (froze, frozen) us  

freeze verb (COLD)

B1 [I or T] If you freeze something, you lower its temperature below 0°C, causing it to become cold and often hard, and if something freezes, its temperature goes below 0°C: Water freezes to ice at a temperature of 0°C. The ground had frozen hard/solid. When the lake freezes (over) (= turns into ice on the surface), we can go skating on it. Our pipes froze (up) (= the water in them turned to ice) several times last winter. The weather forecast says that it is going to freeze tonight (= that the temperature will be at or below 0°C). Without a sleeping bag, you would freeze to death (= become so cold that you die) out there on the mountainside.B1 [I or T] to make food last a long time by storing it at a very low temperature so that it becomes hard: I'll freeze any food that's left over. Most soups freeze (= can be preserved by being stored at a very low temperature) well.
More examples

freeze verb (STOP WORKING)

[I] US ( also freeze up) If an engine or lock freezes, it stops working because its parts have become stuck and can no longer move: My old bicycle was so rusty that the gears had frozen. If the lock has frozen up, try lubricating it with oil.

freeze verb (STOP MOVING)

B2 [I] If a person or animal that is moving freezes, it stops suddenly and becomes completely still, especially because of fear: She saw someone outside the window and froze. "Freeze (= don't move) or I'll shoot!" screamed the gunman.

freeze verb (MONEY/PROPERTY)

[T] To freeze something such as pay or prices is to fix it at a particular level and not allow any increases: The government has frozen pensions until the end of next year. [T] to officially and legally prevent money or property from being used or moved: When it was obvious the company was going bankrupt, the government ordered all their assets to be frozen.
Phrasal verbs

freeze

noun uk   /friːz/ us  

freeze noun (COLD WEATHER)

freeze noun (STOP)

[C] a temporary stopping of something: The government has imposed a wage freeze/a freeze on wage increases.
(Definition of freeze from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of freeze?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “freeze” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More