rooted to the spot

rooted to the spot

Unable to move from the place where one is standing or situated, usually because of intense fear or shock. I stood rooted to the spot for a minute after seeing the two cars collide across the street. As I turned the corner, I saw that I was barreling toward a deer that was rooted to the spot.
See also: root, spot, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*rooted to the spot

Fig. unable to move because of fear or surprise. (*Typically: appear to be ~; be ~;become ~.) Jane stood rooted to the spot when she saw the ghostly figure. Mary stood rooted to the spot when the thief snatched her bag.
See also: root, spot, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

rooted to the spot

Not moving, especially owing to some strong emotion. For example, When the truck bore down on the dog, he was terrified and stood rooted to the spot. This idiom likens the roots of a plant to a strong feeling that keeps one from moving.
See also: root, spot, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ˌglued/ˌrooted to the ˈspot

not able to move, for example because you are frightened or surprised: He shouted at her to run, but she just stood there, glued to the spot.She stood there rooted to the spot when she saw the body.
See also: glue, root, spot, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
As soon as I opened the door the sight of him so terrified me that I stood rooted to the spot, and could feel myself turning pale.
I stood rooted to the spot, with my face turned toward the moonlight streaming in at the open door.
At the sound of the heavy plop alongside horror held me rooted to the spot; but Dominic stepped quietly to the rail and leaned over, waiting for his nephew's miserable head to bob up for the first time.
The dervish said no more and left me, speechless with shame and confusion, and so wretched that I stood rooted to the spot, while he collected the eighty camels and proceeded on his way to Balsora.
The instant she turned to thank me, I stood rooted to the spot. There was the original of the photographic portrait in the dressing-case!
Alban stood rooted to the spot. The effort of his later life had been to conceal the hopeless passion which had mastered him in spite of himself.
Momaya, wide-eyed, stood rooted to the spot, watching, fascinated.
I trembled from head to foot; I felt a presentiment of who it was and wished to rouse one of the peasants who dwelt in a cottage not far from mine; but I was overcome by the sensation of helplessness, so often felt in frightful dreams, when you in vain endeavour to fly from an impending danger, and was rooted to the spot. Presently I heard the sound of footsteps along the passage; the door opened, and the wretch whom I dreaded appeared.
He stood rooted to the spot; and scarcely venturing to breathe, looked up with mingled fear and wonder.
She heard a cry of warning behind her, but, rooted to the spot by a fearful fascination, she heeded it not.
Madame Danglars was rooted to the spot; she made a violent effort to reply to this last attack, but she fell upon a chair thinking of Villefort, of the dinner scene, of the strange series of misfortunes which had taken place in her house during the last few days, and changed the usual calm of her establishment to a scene of scandalous debate.
The fellow seemed rooted to the spot. Evidently he would never leave, or turn his back again.
Deafened by the noise, stifled, choked, and blinded by the dust, they hid their faces and stood rooted to the spot. The dust storm, driving between them and the placid sky, parted for a moment and showed them the stars.
On this the King sent at once a messenger to the Starvation Tower, and he was so astonished with what he saw that he remained rooted to the spot. Then the King sent his chief counsellors, and they too were transfixed with wonder.
At the first step she checked herself; rooted to the spot, under a sudden revulsion of feeling which quieted her in an instant.