Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. Literally, to make the temperature of some place very cold. A noun or pronoun can be used between "freeze" and "out." I'm not trying to freeze you guys out, honestly—our heater is broken.
2. To exclude or ostracize someone by treating them poorly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "freeze" and "out." I think they're trying to freeze me out of the literary magazine this year!
freeze someone out
1. Lit. to make it too cold for someone, usually by opening windows or through the use of air-conditioning. Turn up the heat unless you're trying to freeze us out. Are you trying to freeze out everybody? Close the door.
2. Fig. to lock someone out socially; to isolate someone from something or a group. We didn't want to freeze you out. You failed to pay your dues, however. They froze out the newcomers.
Shut out or exclude by unfriendly treatment; force to retire or withdraw from membership, a job, or the like. For example, They tried to freeze me out of the conversation, or After Bill was frozen out of the case, they hired a new lawyer. [Mid-1800s]
To shut out or exclude someone by cold or unfriendly treatment: The popular kids tried to freeze me out of the conversation. The group froze out the new employees at the meeting.