Definition of freeze in English:



  • 1(with reference to a liquid) turn or be turned into ice or another solid as a result of extreme cold.

    [no object] ‘in the winter the milk froze’
    [with object] ‘frost freezes water that has seeped into joints’
    • ‘Europe continued to get colder; at the low point, in the 17th century, the Thames often froze so hard in winter that fairs were held on the ice.’
    • ‘Water freezes at a high temperature compared to other liquids.’
    • ‘As we drove back to Minsk the rain was freezing to the window as soon as it hit.’
    • ‘It's also why, when a pond freezes, the ice floats and the pond's inhabitants can endure the winter in liquid safety.’
    • ‘Moments later I reached the frozen pond and a mother doe and her fawn stand on the other side of it.’
    • ‘Other than the odd times during the winter when the rivers or lakes froze, the sea and rivers were an abundant source of regular fresh food.’
    • ‘The water may even freeze, producing frost on the inside surface of the window.’
    • ‘When the vapor condenses into rain or freezes to make snow, the precipitation is acid, which can fall into lakes.’
    • ‘Between July and mid-November, polar bears lounge on the shores of Hudson Bay, living off their own fat while they wait for the sea to freeze up.’
    • ‘In severe winters the pub can be cut off by drifting snow for days at a time and the beer has been known to freeze in the pipes!’
    • ‘The water vapour would rise to the uppermost atmosphere where it freezes into tiny ice crystals.’
    • ‘Light rain froze almost immediately, coating parts of the city with black ice.’
    • ‘Many bedrooms were completely unheated; water froze in the basins at night and frost formed on the sheets.’
    • ‘Every drop of water has frozen & the wind is a terribly cold one.’
    • ‘The main job of the pool is to slake birds' thirst, not only on hot summer days but also in winter when natural sources of water may freeze solid.’
    • ‘The streets were vacant, everyone preferred fireside warmth to temperatures so low that it only took a minute for a bucket of water to freeze solid.’
    • ‘Ice that falls during the winter is almost always sleet - raindrops that freeze on the way down.’
    • ‘Since water expands as it freezes, ice forming inside pipes can break them.’
    • ‘It had been raining, and with the cold that night the rain had frozen into sleet on the road.’
    • ‘He is reminiscing about the winter, when there is snow on the hills and the air is brittle with the cold and the frost freezes the water in his men's water bottles.’
    1. 1.1Become or cause to become blocked, covered, or rigid with ice.
      [no object] ‘the pipes had frozen’
      [with complement] ‘the ground was frozen hard’
      • ‘‘We have had temperatures of minus three overnight and the track is frozen at the moment,’ he said today.’
      • ‘The biggest problem people run into when the weather gets cold is frozen pipes.’
      • ‘Trees can be planted any time before the ground freezes.’
      • ‘If your pipes do freeze, shut off the main water valve that supplies your house before the pipes thaw.’
      • ‘You have to put cardboard up in the grates of your car to keep the engine block from freezing.’
      • ‘Top up oil and water levels and make sure you put in enough anti-freeze to stop the engine freezing over.’
      • ‘Planting can take place anytime the soil can be worked, as long as the plants' root structures have time to develop before the ground freezes.’
      • ‘It was very cold. A lot of the time the ground was frozen solid, and we couldn't do a thing.’
      • ‘Along the way she saw a lovely patch of wild violets that had not yet been frozen by the frost.’
      • ‘Try to spot any trouble with your pipes before it's too late, keeping your eye out for signs that may signify pipes that are beginning to freeze.’
      ice-cold, ice-covered, icy, ice-bound, frosted
      turn into ice, ice over, ice up, solidify, harden
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Be so cold that one feels near death (often used hyperbolically)
      ‘you'll freeze to death standing there’
      • ‘We live in a northern climate and would freeze to death if we didn't clothe ourselves adequately.’
      • ‘You're going to freeze in those wet clothes.’
      • ‘I take a cardigan and a pashmina, because on many planes you can freeze to death from the air conditioning.’
      • ‘There's snow coming and we can't have the horses freeze to death.’
      • ‘It's minus 10 degrees outside, if he falls over he'll freeze to death!’
      • ‘Outside, without clothing and in my condition, I would freeze to death before I could get a mile.’
      • ‘He didn't want her to freeze to death in that little red dress of hers.’
      • ‘After standing around at a bus stop in New Oxford Street freezing to death for twenty minutes waiting for a 25, I couldn't be bothered to wait any longer.’
      • ‘It wasn't all that long ago that being poor meant you went hungry on a regular basis and froze all winter.’
      • ‘Doctors continued to marvel at the speedy recovery of a toddler who nearly froze to death last month.’
      • ‘I shivered, ‘It's getting cold out here, we better head in before we freeze to death.’’
      • ‘She was right, he could very well freeze to death without a blanket tonight.’
      • ‘‘You two should come in, before you freeze to death,’ Andrew interrupted gently from the doorway.’
      • ‘By the time I arrived I was frozen, and I barely cared that there were no trains indicated on the boards - at least I was somewhere warm.’
      • ‘Let's get you inside before you freeze to death.’
      • ‘I sat there, frozen, letting the chill seep over my body.’
      • ‘The real possibility that we were all going to freeze to death before anyone found us, was now uppermost in my mind.’
      • ‘We were frozen, so we dived into an Italian restaurant in the city to watch some football match and got ourselves warmed up.’
      • ‘My husband, daughter and I have sat through films and nearly frozen in Bromley cinema.’
      • ‘I was almost frozen before I found a taxi and escaped into the warm cab.’
      feel very cold, go numb with cold, turn blue with cold, shiver, shiver with cold, get chilled, get chilled to the bone, get chilled to the marrow
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3(of the weather) be at or below freezing.
      ‘at night it froze again’
      • ‘During the week, it had snowed, then thawed and then it froze and there was ice under all that water on the surface.’
      • ‘‘Did you tell him that he could come inside?’ ‘Yes! It's beginning to freeze outside! Do you want to give him hypothermia?’’
      • ‘It's eased a little by now, although fun times will be ahead commuting tomorrow if it freezes tonight, even for those of us who live less than five kilometres from where we work.’
    4. 1.4[with object]Deprive (a part of the body) of feeling, especially by the application of a chilled anaesthetic substance.
      • ‘His mouth was frozen numb from eating so much ice cream.’
      • ‘He goes to another hospital next Wednesday where they will give him an epidural to try and freeze the affected area which should give him pain relief for a month at a time.’
      • ‘It's amazing how numb your mouth can be when they freeze it.’
      • ‘The mouth and throat are numbed up or frozen with a local anesthetic until all cough and gag reflexes are gone.’
  • 2[with object] Store (something) at a very low temperature in order to preserve it.

    ‘the cake can be frozen’
    • ‘All tissue was frozen immediately in liquid nitrogen and stored at - 75°C.’
    • ‘The research project follows last year's arrival of the first baby in Britain to be born from a mature egg harvested from its mother, frozen, then fertilised at a later date.’
    • ‘Either cook or freeze raw meat, fish and poultry within two days of purchasing it.’
    • ‘Allow all frozen foods such as poultry and large joints of meat to thaw out completely in a refrigerator.’
    • ‘If you do buy convenience foods, such as frozen pizzas, lunch meats or soups, choose those with reduced fat and sodium.’
    • ‘You can also cook chicken breasts in advance and refrigerate or freeze them for later use.’
    • ‘One of the best methods for preserving herbs is to freeze them.’
    • ‘If you want to freeze it, allow the soup to cool before pouring it into a sealable tub and putting it into the freezer.’
    • ‘The family freezes some soft fruit to allow preserves to be produced all year long, while the jams are handmade in small batches, creating variation between each batch.’
    • ‘Tarragon also keeps its flavor well when frozen or can be preserved in vinegar.’
    • ‘Plastic freezer bags and rigid freezer containers are convenient for freezing vegetables.’
    • ‘All specimens must be securely packaged and kept refrigerated but not frozen during transport.’
    • ‘The tissue was immediately frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen until DNA extraction.’
    • ‘Ideally, though, you should go for high-quality fresh or frozen foods which do not have preservatives, rather than their chill-cabinet counterparts.’
    • ‘Check your garlic, too: Soft cloves can be minced, mixed with olive oil and frozen for future use.’
    • ‘Most food is frozen or pre-cooked to preserve it - a great shame.’
    • ‘The most significant discovery was the minimal difference in Vitamin C content between fresh and frozen peas.’
    • ‘If time is at a premium, try cooking a huge pot of soup on the weekend and storing it in the refrigerator for a few days or freezing it for longer storage.’
    • ‘The cells were frozen and stored for weeks to months.’
    • ‘Stew recipes are flexible and can be doubled and tripled and the leftovers frozen to be enjoyed later as a cost and time effective meal.’
    deep-freeze, quick-freeze, freeze-dry, put in the freezer, pack in ice, put on ice, ice
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[no object, with complement](of food) be able to be preserved at a very low temperature.
      ‘this soup freezes well’
      • ‘This is a beautifully coloured, quick and tasty soup, which freezes well.’
      • ‘Simon said while some customers bought a few items, others took up to 16 loaves to fill their freezer, as the bread would freeze very well.’
      • ‘Once cool, the pie will freeze happily; defrost and reheat until hot all the way through.’
      • ‘It's easy to bake, being essentially a cake more than a steamed pudding, it comes with a spectacularly simple sauce, it freezes well and it reheats like a dream for seconds and thirds.’
      • ‘All these fruits freeze well except strawberries, which should be saved for the summer months.’
      • ‘Cooked wild rice freezes well, so you can conveniently keep it on hand for gourmet dishes.’
      • ‘I have found that mint does not freeze well, so I always dry it instead (chives freezes well but doesn't dry well, basil freezes and dries well).’
      • ‘Some herbs freeze beautifully. These include chives, thyme and basil.’
      • ‘Pesto freezes well, and will keep for several months.’
  • 3[no object] Become suddenly motionless or paralysed with fear or shock.

    ‘she froze in horror’
    • ‘Everything inside of her just freezes up with fear.’
    • ‘While the two other women ran, Zhao testified that she froze, fearing she would be shot.’
    • ‘It was a little nerve wracking, but at least I didn't freeze up, which is what I was worried about.’
    • ‘He'd begun to lower himself into one of the chairs facing her desk when he stopped, frozen in his tracks.’
    • ‘I was frozen against that wall, staring at her, wide-eyed and overwhelmed.’
    • ‘We really haven't had professional pictures of our kids taken because they generally freeze up in front of the camera.’
    • ‘I froze like a deer in headlights at the top of the stairs.’
    • ‘A schoolgirl told how she froze with fear as she was allegedly molested by a drunken man in an early hours attack.’
    • ‘I can be getting on really well with a girl but as soon as I get an inkling that there might be a chance of anything happening, I just freeze up.’
    • ‘I froze momentarily, startled by the sight.’
    • ‘She reached the stairs and turned to Chris, who was frozen with shock and fear.’
    • ‘Eva completely froze for a moment and a look of panic crossed her face.’
    • ‘Everyone in the room freezes, and looks over at me as I stand slowly.’
    • ‘Many stumbled aimlessly through the main square, their faces frozen in blank shock as if unable to believe what they were seeing.’
    • ‘Tyler was about to tell her about their mother, but froze as he looked at his little sister.’
    • ‘Suddenly she asked whether there was someone else in the room and I froze in terror.’
    • ‘I was frozen to the spot, sweat dripping down my cold skin.’
    • ‘For a moment, there was silence in the centre of Potters Bar as everyone nearby froze at the shock of the noise and juddering force of the impact.’
    • ‘The clerk freezes, dropping the cup she's holding.’
    • ‘Her smile suddenly froze on her face, and all of the warmth and teasing drained from her.’
    stop dead, stop in one's tracks, stop, stand still, stand stock still, go rigid, become motionless, become paralysed
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Stop moving when ordered.
      ‘she came out with a revolver and told the boys to freeze’
      • ‘When he ordered everyone to freeze, they froze.’
      • ‘They all held up AK 47 at them, ordering them to freeze, and the helicopter also warned them of a sniper.’
      stop dead, stop in one's tracks, stop, stand still, stand stock still, go rigid, become motionless, become paralysed
      View synonyms
  • 4[with object] Hold (something) at a fixed level or in a fixed state for a period of time.

    ‘new spending on defence was to be frozen’
    • ‘Irish salmon fishermen are calling on the Minister to at least freeze quotas at the 2002 level whilst the current stock position is evaluated.’
    • ‘Some companies have pledged to freeze their rates in 2005, but most are likely to implement further hikes if wholesale gas prices continue to rise as expected.’
    • ‘The Government recognised the need for a period of stability, which is why we froze tariffs for 5 years, until 2005.’
    • ‘The party would also restore free dental checks, and prescription charges would be frozen pending a review of the level of charges and categories of exemptions.’
    • ‘In addition, to help with the council's budget position, members have agreed that all allowances will be frozen at their present level and there will be no increases next year.’
    • ‘The Bush administration would freeze funding at its current level, $34 million.’
    • ‘In the meantime, careful planning may make it possible to freeze the capital tax base at its existing level.’
    • ‘The trade unions have now agreed that wages are to be frozen at current levels for the next two years.’
    • ‘The employer contribution is frozen at the level of 6.5 percent.’
    • ‘Measures taken so far have included axing 450 posts, freezing recruitment and limiting the number of pre-operation overnight stays for patients.’
    • ‘Sligo Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the local authorities to freeze commercial rates at their current level.’
    • ‘The cost of new cars is currently frozen at the same level as June 2003, making the New Year the perfect time to bag a good deal.’
    • ‘It also virtually freezes funding for domestic discretionary programs other than homeland security.’
    • ‘Commercial rates should be frozen at their current level for the forthcoming year’
    • ‘Funding for Children's Aid Societies was frozen, and staff salaries were kept at 1997 levels.’
    • ‘For example, they would freeze benefits from Social Security at their current levels and fund them with a federal retail sales tax.’
    • ‘So long as the prices of consumer goods were frozen below free-market levels, producers had little incentive to bring their goods to market.’
    • ‘He even had no objection in principle to Luxembourg's compromise proposal to freeze Britain's rebate at slightly below its present level for the lifetime of the budget.’
    • ‘Stanford University in California has recently opted to freeze all salaries in order to help finances.’
    • ‘The chancellor said the first step could be to freeze up to £1 billion of debts later this week owed by those countries hardest hit by the Boxing Day disaster.’
    fix, suspend, hold, peg, set
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Prevent (assets) from being used for a period of time.
      ‘the charity's bank account has been frozen’
      • ‘The firm will likely be placed under court receivership, which would install trustees and freeze all company assets.’
      • ‘Mr Davidson's lawyers will also apply to vary the order freezing his assets.’
      • ‘It would freeze assets and impose a travel ban on anyone identified as a suspect by the commission.’
      • ‘The company's bank accounts were frozen by a court order some months ago, leaving it with no option but to sell some of its businesses in order to raise cash.’
      • ‘The US government has frozen assets worth three-quarters of a million dollars.’
      • ‘The EU visa ban imposes travel restrictions on top government and ruling party officials, as well as freezing their assets.’
      • ‘He has had his assets frozen by a previous court, which limited his spending to £1,000 a week.’
      • ‘These permit a Garda chief superintendent to make a case to the High Court for an order to freeze, and where appropriate dispose of, the proceeds of crime.’
      • ‘Company bank accounts and assets have been frozen by Russian courts to prevent Yukos from selling businesses to fund the bill.’
      • ‘The prosecution told the court that by the time action had been taken to freeze the Swiss bank account, HK $2.3 million had been withdrawn.’
      • ‘European governments responded by freezing their assets.’
      • ‘In February, the SEC persuaded a federal judge in Florida to freeze their assets and filed civil fraud charges against them and six other defendants.’
      • ‘Government instructions, bankers say, were to freeze assets now and ask questions later.’
      • ‘They agreed to freeze the assets of suspected terrorist groups " without delay".’
      • ‘The FTC has requested a temporary restraining order to freeze the defendants' assets and possibly reimburse consumers.’
      • ‘The railroad won an injunction to freeze Dringer's assets, halting his lucrative business.’
      • ‘A fear that many international investors have is that their assets may be frozen or seized by a government.’
      • ‘In this particular case, the business folded because the assets were frozen.’
      • ‘To back up its powers of scrutiny it can compel witnesses to provide information, freeze assets, suspend trustees and, in the final resort, dissolve a charity.’
      • ‘The government can freeze assets or proscribe groups if a UN Security Council freezing order has been issued.’
    2. 4.2Stop (a moving image) at a particular frame when filming or viewing.
      ‘the camera will set fast shutter speeds to freeze the action’
      • ‘She hit the pause button, and I saw my own foolish-looking face, past her shoulder, frozen on the screen.’
      • ‘The perceptual realm that we sense beyond the sphere of focused vision is as important as the focused image that can be frozen by the camera.’
      • ‘The image of that mine, frozen on the screen, haunted his thoughts.’
      • ‘The last image, a frozen frame, is of his sad, sweet face alongside the flowers.’
      • ‘The image of those two was frozen on the screen.’
      • ‘If you freeze the image near the start of Shadows, you'll see that it's really an abstract film.’
    3. 4.3[no object](of a computer screen) become temporarily locked because of system problems.
      • ‘If you fill up the hard drive, the system freezes up, and there's no way a user can undo it.’
      • ‘I wrote half of this chapter and then my computer froze before I got to save it.’
      • ‘The computer freezes and I've lost the paragraph.’
      • ‘My computer freezes again, before announcing that it's going to do a cache clean-up.’
      • ‘If your computer freezes after you have bought, but before you have sold, you may lose millions in the transaction.’
      • ‘If the screen freezes or you experience system lockups it might be due to the video card.’
      • ‘It takes 15 minutes for computers to download an image - if the screen doesn't freeze up first.’
      • ‘PC screens froze and, with little other choice left, the event was cancelled.’
      • ‘This means I can actually work on writing for long periods of time without my computer freezing or crashing on me.’
      • ‘Every time you click on a window to shut it down five more windows are opened, ultimately making your computer freeze or even crash.’
      • ‘The system was always freezing and changing homepages in Internet Explorer.’
      • ‘The format went well, but the system froze during the file installation.’
      • ‘But then my screen freezes and the display is unreadable.’
      • ‘Every time I link to the website my computer freezes.’
      • ‘This document contains recommendations on what to do if the computer frequently freezes or completely halts.’
      • ‘Screens froze, buttons took three presses to function and, most distressingly, half my address book made itself invisible.’
      • ‘But my computer froze up in the middle of the post, and I lost everything I'd written.’
      • ‘With the small amount of RAM that they had, if there were too many programs running at the same time the computer would freeze, and shut down.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that your DVR will act like the computer it really is, and as such, may reboot occasionally or the screen may momentarily freeze.’
      • ‘I have a system that freezes during the reboot process.’
  • 5[with object] Stare coldly at (someone); treat coldly.

    ‘she would freeze him with a look when he tried to talk to her’


  • 1An act of holding or being held at a fixed level or in a fixed state.

    ‘workers faced a pay freeze’
    • ‘The board implemented a hiring freeze and deferred cost-of-living raises for its staff.’
    • ‘Last Friday, the IMF ended a three-year freeze on foreign aid by granting Kenya a $252.8 million loan.’
    • ‘During this same period, the Giuliani administration had imposed a two-year wage freeze on all city workers.’
    • ‘However, none of the changes have been implemented because of the freeze on public sector recruitment announced in the Budget.’
    • ‘The company also plans to impose a pay freeze for its remaining 1,400 employees.’
    • ‘While the Government has a freeze on public sector recruitment, it says it is willing to recruit frontline health staff depending on the resources available.’
    • ‘The government has imposed a two and a half year pay freeze on teachers.’
    • ‘The task force called for a freeze on all measures which would see alcohol becoming more available on the grounds that further availability would increase alcohol problems.’
    • ‘But it confirmed that the planned cuts will mean a reduction in existing staff rather than a freeze on planned growth.’
    • ‘On August 15, 1971, more or less out of the blue, President Nixon declared a freeze on wages and prices.’
    • ‘In the 2002 pay round, the company proposed a freeze on wages and cuts to conditions such as shift allowances and overtime rates.’
    • ‘Tuition fees in B.C. have skyrocketed ever since the Liberal government lifted a six-year tuition freeze in 2002.’
    • ‘The Chancellor announced a freeze on stamp duty rates and inheritance tax rates, but an increase on the inheritance threshold to £263,000.’
    • ‘Parallel to the wage freeze, the government has implemented a programme of public spending cuts unprecedented in the history of the Netherlands.’
    • ‘But the company has had a freeze on all raises for nearly two years now.’
    • ‘Magalios said news of the tuition freeze was a surprise, considering the tone of the meeting she had with Hedderson March 11.’
    • ‘No personnel lay - offs are planned but a recruitment freeze has been implemented.’
    • ‘The meeting also approved a massive rise in council tax of more than 18.5 per cent - as well as a freeze on grants for arts and voluntary groups in the city.’
    • ‘The admission of a recruitment freeze is surprising because Cisco has almost tripled its workforce in the past two years, increasing its head count by 30,000 workers.’
    • ‘Motorists were winners in yesterday's Budget with a six-month freeze on fuel prices and the Chancellor signalling support for road-building.’
    fix, suspension, hold
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      short for freeze-frame
  • 2A period of frost or very cold weather.

    ‘the big freeze surprised the weathermen’
    • ‘Many problems related to the May 28 frost in 1992 were related to the cool, damp weather that followed the freeze.’
    • ‘The big freeze had already begun to affect airline passengers yesterday with hundreds left stranded after snow and strong winds grounded flights to Europe and north America.’
    • ‘While we escaped the big freeze, France was hardest hit by blizzards that swept Europe.’
    • ‘The big freeze is finally on its way out, but last night's temperatures - the lowest yet - brought chaos to road and rail.’
    • ‘Our climate, with its extremes of summer heat and drought, early freezes in the fall and late cold snaps in the spring, combined with severe weather, all conspire to damage and stress trees.’
    • ‘Hundreds of gritters were heading out on the roads last night as Britain began gearing up for the big freeze, which will begin to sweep across the country today - a day later than expected.’
    • ‘Aquatic life that would otherwise be killed by a freeze survives.’
    • ‘Then, on the 22nd of the month, the mercury plummeted, heralding the beginning of a big freeze which would last for weeks.’
    • ‘In the early 1900s, much of Florida's citrus industry moved south to areas of the state that seemed the least prone to ruinous freezes.’
    • ‘The fall garden session starts the last Saturday of August and continues through the first freeze, usually in November.’
    • ‘The big freeze continued to cause misery for motorists, school children and holidaymakers today.’
    • ‘It will highlight the fact that we are still living in the great ice age, which has included periods of both hot and cold weather, and will examine the two most recent big freezes in 1947 and 1963.’
    • ‘A freeze set in on the 20th and 21st, and this made the higher ground particularly slippery and dangerous.’
    • ‘Damaging winter freezes are virtually unheard of.’
    • ‘Motorists are being advised to take extra care on the roads this week as the big freeze drifts south.’
    • ‘Apply the coverings in the evening when freezes are forecast and remove them the following morning after the sun warms the air.’
    • ‘The chance of a freeze is low now, which is good news for those who planted early.’
    • ‘The significance of winter's lowest temperatures decreases as we shift from places where winter freezes may kill many plants to areas where freezes merely mean frost on lawns and windshields.’
    • ‘The big freeze came as workers were leaving offices and the roads became treacherous within minutes.’
    • ‘The big freeze showed no sign of ending yesterday with savage frosts overnight and forecasters predicting temperatures as low as minus 20C.’
    cold snap, spell of cold weather, freeze-up, frost
    View synonyms


  • freeze one's blood

    • Fill (or be filled) with a sudden feeling of great fear or horror.

      ‘that sound froze my blood’
      • ‘Brian looked back at the empty chairs, a sudden terrifying thought making his blood freeze.’
      • ‘I twisted my head to look at her- and my blood froze.’
      • ‘When Nazar saw the tiger, his blood froze, and everything went dark before his eyes.’
      • ‘I laughed lightly, though memory of my nightmare seemed to freeze my blood.’
      • ‘Every sideways glance she stole in his direction was enough to make her blood freeze.’
      • ‘The moment I stepped in, my blood froze in shock and I couldn't move.’
      • ‘Starting to her feet, her eyes met a sight which froze her blood with terror.’
      • ‘And just at that moment, she heard the opening notes of a haunting melody that froze her blood.’
      • ‘While I haven't read the story in question, as described here it freezes my blood.’
      • ‘The heavy silence descended once more, and Quin felt his blood freeze in his veins.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • freeze on to

    • Hold on tightly or be very attentive to.

      ‘we'll freeze on to those facts’
  • freeze someone out

    • Behave in a hostile or obstructive way so as to exclude someone.

      ‘during a banquet, she completely froze out her husband’
      • ‘The NUT has been frozen out because it refuses to sign up to the government's proposals over classroom assistants.’
      • ‘Early in his marriage, Philip found palace life inexplicable and was baffled by the way he was frozen out of many activities.’
      • ‘So, even if he lost his regular place, it is unlikely that he would be frozen out entirely.’
      • ‘According to O'Neill, he and other moderate Cabinet members were frozen out of most decision-making early on, even when those decisions related directly to their domains.’
      • ‘Volunteers who went to the aid of a seaside carnival have claimed they were frozen out.’
      • ‘The original American producers say they were frozen out of the show because the Canadian government offers huge financial incentives to lure productions away from the United States.’
      • ‘Guardians of the New Forest have been frozen out of a vital selection process as the area prepares to become a National Park.’
      • ‘Siobhan…left in 2001, claiming she was frozen out by Keisha and Mutya, old schoolmates with whom she had formed the band in 1998.’
      • ‘Mr Libeskind wrote to the New York Times last week saying that, contrary to reports, he had not been frozen out after a series of disagreements with Mr Childs' firm of architects.’
      • ‘I thought we had been frozen out since that unfortunate episode with the painting.’
      • ‘After seven brief appearances as substitute under Nicky Law, Wolleaston was frozen out by Bryan Robson, who announced he would not be part of his plans.’
      • ‘Dettmer said workers were ‘furious’ they had been frozen out of Government discussions on the industry's future.’
      • ‘For example, they might ostracize victims by freezing them out of the lunchroom seating arrangements, ignoring them on the playground, or shunning them when slumber party invitations are handed out.’
      • ‘After the Australia tour of '99, Costello was frozen out, never to return under Gatland.’
      • ‘However, champion skater Peter Baker has been frozen out of world class competition - because he is too old.’
      • ‘They have always said that they were frozen out and left in the dark about how the case was proceeding.’
      • ‘The FBI investigation is based on claims by a senior army contracting official who claims she was frozen out of decisions when she questioned the contracts.’
      • ‘The Times quoted big business lobbyists claiming they were frozen out during the Clinton years of ‘over-regulation.’’
      • ‘However, he was then frozen out of the US space programme because of his erratic character.’
      exclude, leave out, shut out, cut out, neglect, ignore, ostracize, reject, disown, spurn, slight, snub, shun, cut, cut dead, turn one's back on, cold-shoulder, give someone the cold shoulder, leave out in the cold
      send to coventry
      knock back, brush off, give someone the brush-off, stiff-arm, hand someone the frozen mitt
      give someone the brush
      give someone the go-by
      View synonyms


Old English frēosan (in the phrase hit frēoseth ‘it is freezing’), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vriezen and German frieren, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin pruina hoar frost and frost.