Definition of freeze-up in US English:



  • 1A period of extreme cold.

    • ‘This Sunday should see anglers return to the banks following the big freeze-up.’
    • ‘Had a few sensors been in place, a small leak caused by a freeze-up could have been avoided before it turned into a small flood.’
    • ‘And in case of a storm or freeze-up, the question is how fast can you get to shore.’
    • ‘A council which came under fire for its performance during the post-Christmas freeze-up is to put itself under the microscope.’
    • ‘As each winter approaches, people hope and pray for mild storms and an early freeze-up to protect the shoreline.’
    • ‘When war became more likely in the east the Baltic freeze-up became a serious problem, because if war broke out in November reinforcing ships could not be dispatched until April.’
    • ‘His comeback was further hampered by the winter freeze-up that caused several reserve games to be postponed.’
    • ‘Thirty-nine counties are now affected by the great freeze-up, and snow and ice have made travelling difficult on 14,000 miles of important roads, the AA said today.’
    • ‘The location of the trails is related to the pattern of the freeze-up (from west to east, on that section of the strait).’
    cold snap, spell of cold weather, frost
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    1. 1.1US The freezing over of a body of water such as a lake or river.
      ‘until freeze-up, the caribou stay near the lake’
      • ‘The combination of increased precipitation and cooler temperatures in the Arctic fall, therefore, might be critical for many populations, allowing fish to migrate back to main branches or lakes before freeze-up.’
      • ‘Adaptations such as rapid growth and development, shortened prefledging period, and small adult body size enable goslings of high Arctic geese to attain flight and migrate before fall freeze-up.’
      • ‘Thus, both the timing of freeze-up and the temperatures measured at Pelly Bay on the dates when bears were found in dens in this study suggest that the occupants were probably avoiding cold to conserve energy.’
      • ‘The cows and calves may be killed later if it appears they won't survive until freeze-up.’
      • ‘After freeze-up, cars just cross on the ice, but there's always that guy who tries it once too often in May!’
      • ‘I would be afraid to chase her across the lake during break-up and freeze-up, but she knew the land, waterways and ice.’
      • ‘Each year the ice is melting earlier and earlier, and each year freeze-up happens later.’
      • ‘Non-pregnant bears may have to fast on land or offshore on the remaining multiyear ice through progressively longer periods of open water while they await freeze-up and a return to hunting seals.’
      • ‘In most years, nests near Barrow must be initiated no later than the last week of June in order for the young to fledge before freeze-up on the tundra.’
      • ‘Just before freeze-up, a local highway maintenance crew had rifted a colony's dam to prevent the flooding of a road.’
      • ‘When freeze-up starts and food supplies dwindle in the western Beaufort, Chukchi, and northern and Bering seas, something tells the whales to start swimming south.’
      • ‘The bears would therefore come ashore there to fast on their fat reserves until freeze-up in the fall.’
      • ‘If a bridge were built people could get across the river for the four weeks of break-up and freeze-up when the river is impassable, but where are they going to go?’
      • ‘The increased variability and uncertainty during the transition months (when freeze-up and breakup occur) are of particular concern.’
      • ‘They concluded that bears use shelters on land in late summer and fall while waiting for freeze-up, or in mid-winter to avoid periods of extreme cold.’
      • ‘They can then get an early start before freeze-up.’
      • ‘Respondents noted that until that year, freeze-up had always been complete by October.’
      • ‘‘We do not have a single longtime freeze-up in which the water cycle is shut down completely,’ asserts Allen.’
      • ‘The waterways project is nearing completion by Pine Tree Nursery of Steinbach, with hopes it will be finished before freeze-up.’