Definition of freezing in US English:



  • 1Below 32°F (0°C)

    ‘strong winds and freezing temperatures’
    • ‘Seconds later, she fell into the freezing water below.’
    • ‘The freezing temperatures yesterday resulted in record amounts of gas being used across Britain, Transco said last night.’
    • ‘Although we are still getting freezing temperatures at night at least the days seem to be getting warmer.’
    • ‘Animal welfare experts now fear Scottish wildlife such as deer, hedgehogs and frogs could also suffer as their young are killed off in the freezing temperatures.’
    • ‘When her bare leg met the freezing air below, however, she let out a strangled yelp and jumped away.’
    • ‘It has been running every week since November with stallholders braving freezing winter temperatures.’
    • ‘Despite the snow and the freezing temperature, a bunch of 20 daring people plunged into the icy waters of Lee Dam yesterday.’
    • ‘For a country that doesn't experience all that much in the way of freezing temperatures, Vietnam has sure nailed down what cures the ill chill of winter.’
    • ‘Organiser David Sutcliffe said last year the event had to be postponed for a week when they were unable to break the thick layer of ice that had formed in the freezing temperatures.’
    • ‘The freezing temperatures took their toll on the roads on Wednesday morning with a three-car road accident blamed on the conditions.’
    • ‘Despite the freezing temperatures on the moors, Mr Dimbleby said he had enjoyed the experience.’
    • ‘Undaunted by the freezing temperatures, he danced shirtless under one of the giant fountains for an hour and a half.’
    • ‘Nancy and seven friends shared one of the caves, enduring the freezing night-time temperatures, constantly afraid that they would be discovered.’
    • ‘I got off the airplane on a freezing day.’
    • ‘More than 70 people braved the freezing temperatures to attend the event, which was held in the Drove Centre.’
    • ‘She sat on the edge of an old wooden dock and allowed her bare feet to touch the freezing water below.’
    • ‘Out in the open air people are exposed to blazing daytime sun and freezing night temperatures.’
    • ‘Cases began to appear in October and they had escalated more recently because of freezing temperatures and were set to rise even more over the next few months, Action Research said.’
    • ‘In these freezing temperatures you can't afford to relax for a moment, even when you think you're almost home.’
    • ‘Although it was unseasonably warm this day, we expected the temperature to dip below the freezing level as the night wore on.’
    bitterly cold, cold, chill, chilling, frosty, frozen, glacial, wintry, sub-zero
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    1. 1.1 (used hyperbolically) very cold.
      ‘he was freezing and miserable’
      as submodifier ‘it was freezing cold outside’
      • ‘It's not like I have to sleep outside in the freezing cold.’
      • ‘Outside in the freezing cold skulk bouncers Lucky Eric, Judd, Les and Ralph as the tale of a Friday night unfolds.’
      • ‘I was certainly in no fit state to stand in the freezing cold for five hours to collect a security pass and, more importantly, I could not stand cross-legged in a queue for the toilets.’
      • ‘I remember many nights outside in the freezing cold with my father, looking through our telescope at the moons of Jupiter or the constellation Orion.’
      • ‘We walked around Moscow lost, in the freezing cold for six hours.’
      • ‘‘It was absolutely freezing cold and I had to wear two jumpers and a coat to keep warm,’ he said.’
      • ‘They were left outside in the freezing cold all night.’
      • ‘On the night I was lying down injured in the freezing cold with my favourite car wrapped round a tree, I was thinking, ‘This is not a great night.’’
      • ‘She stood outside in the freezing cold, waiting for her friends to come and meet her.’
      • ‘It was freezing cold and I was shaking like a washing machine.’
      • ‘Two adults were arrested after they and two children were spotted on the street naked in the freezing cold.’
      • ‘It was like another person telling someone what it is like to jump off a forty-foot cliff into the freezing sea below.’
      • ‘At midnight, like most New Yorkers, I was far from the freezing cold of the street, blissfully free to drink as much as I liked.’
      • ‘Come next January, though, I have a feeling that there will be many annoyed people around the country, out on the streets outside pubs in the freezing cold!’
      • ‘We ended up waiting outside in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes, maybe more, before we got in.’
      • ‘Why anyone would want to stand out in the freezing cold with half a million people, most of them trying to feel you up or steal your wallet as they brush up against you, is beyond me.’
      • ‘But on the plane back home, I was nauseated and freezing cold.’
      • ‘Yet on his second day in Paris he spent the entire night outside, in the freezing cold.’
      • ‘She dropped the phone and ran out of the house, not even grabbing a coat as she ran into the freezing cold outside.’
      • ‘Looking back on it, sometimes the lessons were enjoyable - but mostly they consisted of standing around in the freezing cold, on a muddy pitch, avoiding the football.’
      frozen, extremely cold, painfully cold, numb with cold, very chilly, chilled through, chilled to the bone, chilled to the marrow, frozen to the core, frozen stiff, shivery, shivering
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of fog or rain) consisting of droplets that freeze rapidly on contact with a surface to form ice.
      • ‘People gathered signatures in freezing rain to block the sale.’
      • ‘Thick clouds were gathering, heralding the approach of freezing rain and sleet.’
      • ‘Snow and freezing rain have disrupted airports, highways and schools.’
      • ‘Trees and tall hogweed-type plants loomed out of the freezing fog.’
      • ‘The string of cancellations began after a freezing rain and ice storm hit the region on December 15.’
      • ‘After mid-morning, things turned to a wintery mix of freezing rain and sleet.’
      • ‘We landed in freezing fog, just to remind me what a great week we had just enjoyed.’
      • ‘Yesterday there was freezing fog, which I was convinced became very much worse during my journey.’
      • ‘The obvious joy of the cast in presenting this classic of the ballet repertoire, was infectious and sent me out into the freezing fog with a warm smile.’
      • ‘Winter storms normally bring ordinary rain, freezing rain and sleet as well as snow.’
      • ‘Thick fog, freezing rain, howling wind and heavy snow are everyday factors helicopter crews face when called to fly on one of the unit's many rescue missions.’
      • ‘In the closing stages the game almost descended into farce as a thick freezing fog had enveloped the pitch reducing visibility drastically.’
      • ‘Inclement weather, which included snow, sleet, and freezing rain, and poor track conditions were cited as the reasons for cancellation.’
      • ‘Nearly three hundred crews from twelve states did the work; most of them were on the job by the time the freezing rain stopped falling.’
      • ‘Hampden, meanwhile, was eerily wreathed in freezing fog but neither the elements nor the task ahead of him seemed to cow Smith's spirits.’
      • ‘Never attempt to take off in freezing drizzle or freezing rain.’
      • ‘Early this morning, a blast of freezing rain and ice swept across parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.’
      • ‘Beginning to shiver himself in the freezing rain, he said, ‘Yeah, I guess it is cold.’’
      • ‘Even the prospect of getting my trousers soaked in freezing rain from mid thigh to ankle doesn't put me off.’
      • ‘He enters a dark wood, where freezing fog and ice slow his progress until his van stalls in the dark of night in the middle of nowhere.’


  • The freezing point of water.

    ‘the temperature was well above freezing’
    • ‘But they stressed England would not be hit as hard as north of the border, though temperatures would drop below freezing tonight.’
    • ‘Snow is on the ground in the area and temperatures well below freezing are expected tonight.’
    • ‘A city office building that had been used as an emergency shelter when temperatures fell to below freezing was closed last year.’
    • ‘Temperatures were again expected to dip below freezing tonight but by tomorrow a slow thaw is expected.’
    • ‘Clerk of the course Bill Farnsworth took the decision to abandon after temperatures had fallen to below freezing overnight.’
    • ‘Temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing tonight and although the track has seen no snow, clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright is concerned by the threat of frost.’
    • ‘Forecasters said temperature would likely drop below freezing overnight.’