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1. To become frozen and icy. I know the lake has frozen up, but I still don't think it's safe for you kids to go skating on it.
2. To cause something to become frozen and icy. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "freeze" and "up." If the ice cream is starting to melt, put it in the freezer so it can freeze up again.
3. To become tense, scared, and unable to do something. I love to sing, but I freeze up any time I get on stage—when I open my mouth, nothing comes out.
4. To stop functioning or working. A: "Ugh, my computer's frozen up." B: "Well, unplug it and see if that helps."
5. To cause something to stop functioning or working. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "freeze" and "up." Ugh, that new program keeps freezing my computer up.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. [for something] to freeze and stop functioning. The joint froze up and wouldn't move anymore.
2. Fig. [for someone] to become frightened and anxious, and be unable to move, speak, or continue with something. I froze up and couldn't say anything more.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To become completely frozen: The water in the ice trays hasn't frozen up yet.
2. To cause something to freeze completely: We froze up the water for ice cubes. Freeze the juice up and we'll have some frozen treats!
3. To become fixed in place or unable to move: The lock froze up due to rust. When I noticed that I was being watched, I froze up.
4. To cause something to become fixed in place or unable to move: The subzero temperatures froze up the water pipes. The rust froze the gears up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.