—v.i. 1. to become hardened into ice or into a solid body; change from the liquid to the solid state by loss of heat.
2. to become hard or stiffened because of loss of heat, as objects containing moisture: Meat will freeze in a few hours. 3. to suffer the effects of intense cold; have the sensation of extreme cold: We sat there freezing until the heat came on. 4. to be of the degree of cold at which water freezes: It may freeze tonight. 5. to lose warmth of feeling; be stunned or chilled with fear, shock, etc.: My heart froze when she told me the news. 6. to become immobilized through fear, shock, etc.: When he got in front of the audience he froze. 7. to stop suddenly and remain motionless; halt: I froze in my tracks. 8. to become obstructed by the formation of ice, as pipes: Our basement water pipes often freeze in winter. 9. to die or be injured because of frost or cold.
10. (of a screw, nail, or the like) to become rigidly fixed in place, as from rust or dirt.
11. to become fixed to something by or as if by the action of frost.
12. to become unfriendly, secretive, or aloof (often fol. by up): He froze at such a personal question.
—v.t. 1. to harden into ice; change from a fluid to a solid form by loss of heat; congeal.
2. to form ice on the surface of (a river, pond, etc.).
3. to harden or stiffen (an object containing moisture) by cold.
4. to quick-freeze.
5. to subject to freezing temperature; place in a freezer or in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator.
6. to cause to suffer the effects of intense cold; produce the sensation of extreme cold in.
7. to cause to lose warmth as if by cold; chill with fear; dampen the enthusiasm of.
8. to cause (a person or animal) to become fixed through fright, alarm, shock, etc.: Terror froze him to the steering wheel. 9. to kill by frost or cold: A late snow froze the buds. 10. to fix fast with ice: a sled frozen to a sidewalk. 11. to obstruct or close (a pipe or the like) by the formation of ice: The storm had frozen the hydrant. 12. to fix (rents, prices, etc.) at a specific amount, usually by government order.
13. to stop or limit production, use, or development of: an agreement to freeze nuclear weapons. 14. Finance.to render impossible of liquidation or collection: Bank loans are frozen in business depressions. 15. Surg.to render part of the body insensitive to pain or slower in its function by artificial means.
16. Cards. a. Canasta.to play a wild card on (the discard pile) so as to make it frozen.
b. Poker.to eliminate (other players) in a game of freezeout.
17. to photograph (a moving subject) at a shutter speed fast enough to produce an unblurred, seemingly motionless image.
18. Motion Pictures.to stop by means of a freeze-frame mechanism: You can freeze the action at any point. 19. Sports.to maintain possession of (a ball or puck) for as long as possible, usually without trying to score, thereby reducing the opponent's opportunities for scoring.
20. Ice Hockey.to hold (a puck) against the boards with the skates or stick, causing play to stop and forcing a face-off.
21. freeze on or onto,Informal.to adhere closely to; hold on; seize.
22. freeze out, to exclude or compel (somebody) to withdraw from membership, acceptance, a position of influence or advantage, etc., by cold treatment or severe competition.
23. freeze over, to coat or become coated with ice: The lake freezes over for several months each year.
—n. 1. the act of freezing; state of being frozen.
2. Also called ice-up.Meteorol.a widespread occurrence of temperatures below 32°F (0°C) persisting for at least several days: A freeze is expected in the coastal areas. 3. a frost.
4. a legislative action, esp. in time of national emergency, to control prices, rents, production, etc.: The government put a freeze on new construction. 5. a decision by one or more nations to stop or limit production or development of weapons, esp. nuclear weapons.