freeze - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “freeze”

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freeze

verb uk   us   /friːz/ (froze, frozen)

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   us   /friːz/

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)
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