Definition of fossilize in English:



  • 1 Preserve (an organism) so that it becomes a fossil.

    ‘the hard parts of the body are readily fossilized’
    • ‘As such, they have been found fossilized in Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits, and have been used to reconstruct paleoclimates.’
    • ‘Recent excavations in the region have uncovered fossilised remains of sea dinosaurs and other creatures that once frequented these watery wastes.’
    • ‘In the vicinity of many fossilized animals, there is an absence of these algae, indicative of a heterogeneous environment.’
    • ‘The coastline resembles the gaping, dislocated jaws of some fossilised dinosaur that once roamed here, but time has rendered it harmless and tides have scattered its teeth to form countless islands.’
    • ‘The combination of fossils and gouged marks created a metaphoric interplay between fossilized creatures and shelled victims.’
    • ‘In addition to their possible connection with Brown's discovery, these T. rex fossils also were found to contain coprolites, fossilized remains of the dinosaur's last meal.’
    • ‘Small fish bones, delicate leaves, even animal skin have been fossilized and beautifully preserved.’
    • ‘Many fossilized insects and animal fossils are identical to those living today.’
    • ‘The merging occurs near the apertural margin, indicating the specimen was fossilized shortly after ontogenetic merging.’
    • ‘No in situ fossilized trees were found preserved within channel sandstone bodies.’
    • ‘The Joggins Formation, on the coast of Nova Scotia, contains fossilized trees five to six metres in height preserved upright in layers of sandstone and shale, as well as numerous coal seams.’
    • ‘They are so named because they originate from the decayed and fossilized remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago.’
    • ‘But one colour alone can look magical: chokers made from cool blue lace agate or fossilised Tibetan coral are dazzling.’
    • ‘Our data set includes only fossilized specimens and all of them are from an extinct genus of class Stenolaemata, the dominant Paleozoic class of bryozoans.’
    • ‘Calculating when this Atlantic lineage originated is difficult, since the results now call into question the identity of many fossilized corals.’
    • ‘Today more than a dozen transitional whale fossils have been unearthed - an excellent series for such rarely fossilized animals.’
    • ‘Phytosaurs are particularly useful for biozonation because these large river and swamp-dwelling animals were frequently fossilized.’
    • ‘Spiders are rarely fossilized since they have no hard skeleton and usually thrive away from water, where sediments ideal for fossils accumulate.’
    • ‘Personally, I'm happy to spend my time doing the delicate work of digging out dinosaur bones, and not having to be responsible for a several-ton fossilized tree.’
    • ‘Here bats, fossilised coral, stalagmites and stalactites can all be found.’
    petrified, ossified
    archaic, antiquated, antediluvian, old-fashioned, quaint, outdated, outmoded, behind the times, anachronistic, stuck in time
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    1. 1.1[no object]Become a fossil.
      ‘flowers do not readily fossilize’
      • ‘Clearly, such behaviors do not fossilize directly and have to be inferred from anatomy.’
      • ‘However, the paucity of modern cycad trunks to cycadeoid trunks in the fossil record suggests that the modern cycad trunks did not fossilize as readily as the extinct variety.’
      • ‘Fossilized bones say nothing about external layers, and skin and clothes don't fossilize well.’
      • ‘The fact is that organisms fossilize only under certain specific conditions.’
      • ‘Bird bones are thin, small and hollow and do not fossilize well; but we are gradually accumulating a good many enantiornithine - and perhaps even archaeornithine - fossils.’
      • ‘It's not conclusive evidence for the evolution of flight - and since behavior doesn't fossilize, one can never be certain.’
      • ‘It's made of wood and left to fossilize: to gather minerals and geologically imprint itself on the side of a mountain.’
      • ‘In all but the most extraordinary conditions, pneumatized bones are the only traces of the respiratory system that fossilize.’
      • ‘Only a few families and genera are known; this appears to have been a small group, or alternatively to have frequented areas where they would not have easily fossilized.’
      • ‘When the bones were brought to the Montana State University's lab, it was noticed that ‘some parts deep inside the long bone of the leg had not completely fossilized.’’
      • ‘Such microorganisms could trap sediments and precipitate limestone, and though they rarely fossilized, they did leave characteristic freestanding mounds and columns, built on the seafloor.’
      • ‘DNA data is directly comparable across all extant organisms, including those that do not fossilize well such as soft bodied taxa, and contains information for the entire history of every lineage.’
      • ‘In the Recent, other candidates can be found, but only in taxa that typically fossilize poorly, so first occurrences cannot be dated with confidence.’
      • ‘However, most modern dinocysts reach sediments before germination, and some of these can fossilize without excystment structure formation.’
      • ‘Thus, for example, he argues that such elements were present in osteostraci, but failed to fossilize.’
      • ‘This ham, flour, and hat have not even taken 110 years to fossilize.’
      • ‘Morphological species are important in palaeontology, for interbreeding ability does not fossilize.’
      • ‘What is stupid of Fred is to ask for detailed fossil data from organisms that don't fossilize well.’
      • ‘Attachment of quartz and kaolinite to the surface of lobster eggs demonstrates experimentally for the first time that soft tissues could fossilize in pre-existing minerals.’
      • ‘They fossilize readily and in recognizable form because the interlocking desmas retain the original form of the sponge.’
    2. 1.2Become or cause to become antiquated, fixed, or incapable of change or development.
      • ‘‘I think people have to ask themselves what they are doing in jobs that cause them to freeze and fossilise when they could be doing something that really challenges them,’ he says.’
      • ‘On the other hand, modernisers claim that the game will fossilise if something is not done to stir interest.’
      • ‘For Zen, however, this need for permanence fossilizes what is both beautiful and sacred.’
      • ‘She calls him, ‘my first love,’ as if the feelings have fossilised.’
      • ‘It is argued that due to the practical constraints imposed on L2 learning, a majority of L2 words fossilize at the second stage.’
      • ‘Why should modern reverence of ancient deities force them to fossilize when they were clearly organic and changeable in the past?’
      • ‘This atmosphere had the weird property of deadening and fossilising every thing that slid under its sway.’
      • ‘Canons of literature may fossilize their subject and reduce its study to dry memorization for its own sake.’
      • ‘The system is bureaucratic, distorts land use and fossilises the countryside and businesses.’
      • ‘At this stage, many learners stop, their capacity fossilized.’
      • ‘Our evolutionary heritage is not completely fossilized; it can in some respects alter itself in response to the conditions in which we grow up.’
      • ‘The tragedy of Gemini is that he got fossilised in one type of portrayal.’
      • ‘Thus, Aristotle's teleological ideas were able to fossilize into a relic that was used as the template against which new ideas were tested.’
      • ‘I say the problem lies with the late introduction of English language which is delayed until the child's brain fossilises.’
      • ‘He was one of the most extreme of the extremists, once described by The Nation as ‘an able young man whose ideas have tragically fossilized.’’
      • ‘The church that does not evangelise must surely fossilise!’
      archaic, antiquated, antediluvian, old-fashioned, quaint, outdated, outmoded, behind the times, anachronistic, stuck in time
      View synonyms