Definition of immobilize in English:


(also immobilise)


  • 1 Prevent (something or someone) from moving or operating as normal.

    ‘the car had been immobilized by a wheel clamp’
    ‘fear immobilized her’
    • ‘It immobilises the mind's flexibility and ability to adapt to pressure.’
    • ‘The point was to silence and immobilize leadership while forcing groups to redirect energy and resources into raising funds, organizing legal defenses and publicizing the cases.’
    • ‘The result was a government immobilized by fear of schism and unable to respond to a real opportunity to develop a better relation with the minority community.’
    • ‘In the new program the majority of the techniques consist of non-lethal ways to immobilize our opponent.’
    • ‘It's whether you're immobilized by the fear of death.’
    • ‘The owner, who had parked the car there after it had broken down, had removed the distributor cap to immobilize his car.’
    • ‘In the martial art of ju-jitsu, the less powerful uses the strength of the aggressor to immobilize them.’
    • ‘Both big powers are immobilised by the conflict.’
    • ‘It takes away from self-confidence, immobilizes a person through anxiety, and creates an exaggerated fear of the environment.’
    • ‘First, she loses physical control of her hands, and, by the conclusion of the concert, she is so immobilized that she can't even stand up to take a bow.’
    • ‘Special features of the packages can make them more user-friendly and immobilize products to prevent damage.’
    • ‘On Bank Holiday Monday, about 5.30 pm, a vehicle returning from Coney Island over the strand was immobilised in deep water leaving its four passengers clinging to the roof.’
    • ‘It's clearly true that he is virtually immobilized through his fear of coming across poorly in the eyes of strangers.’
    • ‘Also electrical stimulation of the muscles while they are immobilized prevents the usual decrease in their oxidative capacity and can also prevent muscle fibre atrophy.’
    • ‘It pays to read the signs before leaving your car in a carpark or other private land in England: security guards can impose enormous instant fines, and enforce them by immobilizing your car with a wheel clamp.’
    • ‘Pre-slaughter stunning was introduced in 1933 to protect abattoir personnel, not animals, by immobilising the animal to facilitate slaughter.’
    • ‘The lesson is that overanalyzing change can immobilize us and prevent us from taking action.’
    • ‘The most fear he had ever felt rushed over him, immobilizing him on the stage.’
    • ‘This desire becomes only stronger once he assumes the role of the detective, whose very function has been to immobilize the mysteries of the world by constructing a coherent text.’
    • ‘Another approach is to immobilize the ship by ‘fouling its propeller.’’
    put out of action, disable, prevent from moving, prevent from working, make inoperative, render inactive, inactivate, deactivate, paralyse, cripple
    bring to a standstill, bring to a halt, halt, stop
    clamp, wheel-clamp
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Restrict the movements of (a limb) to allow healing.
      ‘other children in the ward were immobilized in traction’
      • ‘If a body part must be immobilised - to allow skin graft adherence, for example - then the part should be splinted or positioned in an anti-deformity position for the minimum time possible.’
      • ‘The leg was immobilized in a long leg cast with the knee at 30 [degrees] of flexion for 8 weeks.’
      • ‘Alternatively, the foot can be immobilised in a well moulded total contact plaster that is initially non-weight bearing.’
      • ‘In order to allow the soft tissues around your knuckles to heal, your entire hand will be immobilized for one to two weeks.’
      • ‘My broken left arm was still immobilised in a splint, still healing and sore.’
      • ‘The improvement obtained by manipulation is maintained by immobilizing the foot in a plaster cast for five to seven days.’
      • ‘The cervical spine should be immobilised with a cervical collar, sandbag, and tape.’
      • ‘Treatment involves protecting and immobilizing the foot.’
      • ‘When a broken limb is immobilized in a rigid cast, changes begin immediately in both the bone and surrounding muscles.’
      • ‘As a general rule, fractures need to be immobilised for between two and eight weeks.’
      • ‘Of the 54 children taken by ambulance, eight had not been immobilised.’
      • ‘The surgeon immobilized the right adrenal mass and found evidence of intracaval extension of tumor.’
      • ‘The knee should be immobilized if there is pain with motion.’
      • ‘In severe cases, immobilize joint with abundantly padded splint.’
      • ‘Another barrier surgeons had to overcome was immobilizing a shattered limb while ensuring they had access to the open wound so they could treat infection.’
      • ‘The damaged limbs were often kept immobilized because of the confinement of the iron lung.’
      • ‘Its advice, if you are bitten by a snake, is to keep calm, immobilise the affected limb with a splint or sling and evacuate the person to medical help, with a description of the snake if possible.’
      • ‘Patients with full range of motion in the early postoperative period may be immobilized for a longer period, because they are less likely to develop a stiff shoulder.’
      • ‘If this accident had happened on shore, the corpsman would have followed the same procedures but would have had to immobilize the leg with a splint.’
      • ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is treated by placing the wrist on a splint to immobilize it and to prevent pressure to the nerves.’


Late 19th century: from French immobiliser, from immobile (see immobile).