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Alternative forms[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fese, from the verb (see below).


feeze (plural feezes)

  1. (obsolete or US, dialectal) A state of fretful excitement or worry.
    • 1797, Hannah Webster Foster, The Coquette, page 203:
      All this time, they were chattering; but at last I thought, by the sound of their voices, that they must be walking away, and I never was in such a feeze in all my life, in case they should be gone before I could get up the wall ; and when I did get up it, sure enough, gone they was!
    • 1825, John Neal, Brother Jonathan: or, The New Englanders, volume 2, page 85:
      “Don't git in a feeze, uncle Tib;—you can't help your head, I dare say; []
    • 1828 April 19, “For the Ariel”, in The Ariel, page 205:
      [Crispin buys a lottery ticket and splashes out in anticipation of winning.] The next morning Violetta [his daughter] was paraded through the streets by a smart clerk in the neighbourhood [] At the turn of the next street they met Crispin himself, with a visage of alarming length. He was fresh from the office, where they told him he had drawn a—blank!—The smart beau sneaked off in a feeze, Crispin and his goods were sold out by the sheriff []
    • 2006, John Neal, Down Easters, page 134:
      Why what a feeze you air in, to be sure!
  2. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (obsolete) A race; a run.
  3. (dialect) A swipe.
    • 1878, Mather, “My Auld Aunty Lizzie Was Famed for a Spinner”, in Whistle-Binkie: Or, the Piper of the Party:
      Then Lizzie wad coax her, as I've heard her tell, Wi ' a lick o' sweet oil an' a feeze o' her hand, She soon brought the dorty jaud back to hersel'
  4. (obsolete) A rush, impetus, or violent impact.
    • 1592, William Wyrley, “Life of Lord Chandos”, in The true use of armorie shewed by historie, page 50:
      Dabscote no harme receiued by his fall
      But lightly vp himselfe againe doth rease,
      Fiue Almains streight they light vpon him all
      At once: and beare him downe with mightie feas.
  5. (obsolete) A running start or run-up, as for a leap; used in the expression "to fetch one's feeze".
    • 1577, Raphael Holinshed, quoting James Butler, “The thirde Booke of the Historie of Ireland, comprising the raigne of Henry the eyght”, in The firste [laste] volume of the chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande, page 91:
      [] though you haue fetched your feaze, yet to looke well ere you leape.
    • 1618, Thomas Middleton, The Owles Almanacke:
      This tale being bleated out and heard, this cornuted husband of the sheep's heads fetching a feeze backward (like the Roman ram, to push forward with the more violent and villainous force) ran with all his horniferous strength at the poor fire-felon and stroke his brow-butters full in Prometheus's forehead that the very print remaineth in his front, and doth still in some of his race to this day;
    • 1636, Daniel Featley, chapter 62, in Clavis mystica: a key opening divers difficult and mysterious texts of Holy Scripture, page 826:
      [] as hee that leapeth forward fetcheth his feeze a great way backe []
    • 1686, Fabian Phillips, chapter 27, in Investigatio jurium antiquorum et rationalium Regni [] or, a vindication of the government of the kingdom of England [] , page 583:
      Our Man of Art [] finds some words which will not at all serve is turn [] viz. (An excellent Conserver of Liberty, but never intended for any share in Government, or the choosing of them that should govern) [] and therefore well bethinks himself, retires a little, begins at An excellent Conserver of Liberty, makes that plural, adds, &c. which is not in the Original, fetches his feeze and leaps quite over all the rest of the Parenthesis []
  6. A device for wedging items into a tight space.
    • 1653, ‎Sir Thomas Urquhart, Logopandecteision:
      setting up the most expedient agricolary instruments of wains, carts, slades, with their several devices of wheels and axle-trees, plows and harrows of divers sorts, feezes, winders, pullies, and all other manner of engines fit for easing the toyl and furthering the work;
    • 1674, Proceedings:The Guildry Incorporation of Dundee:
      The Dean and assessors —unanimoslie condishended and agreied upon that ane compitent number of feezes be made for packing of pleding.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English fesen, from Old English fēsian, fȳsian (to drive away, put to flight), variants of fēsan, fȳsan (to hasten, rush; to incite, stimulate, send forth, drive away), from Proto-West Germanic *funsijan, from Proto-Germanic *funsijaną (to cause to be inclined, make favourable, predispose, make ready), from Proto-Indo-European *pent- (to step, go, pass). Cognate with Icelandic fýsa (to admonish, exhort). Doublet of faze.


feeze (third-person singular simple present feezes, present participle feezing, simple past and past participle feezed) (obsolete or dialectal)

  1. (transitive) To drive off, frighten away, or cause to flee or hesitate; to faze.
    • 1839, Mary Palmer, Theophila Gwatkin, editor, A Devonshire Dialogue, page 30:
      A Vriday I went to winding [gloss: Winnowing], and took the Boy wi' me, to cry turr, [gloss: An expression used in driving pigs], and vease away the pigs from nuzzling in the corn []
    • 1906, Congressional Record, page 4351:
      but you Republicans are so much accustomed to this uncertainty upon many other questions that it need not feeze you at all.
    • 1910, The World To-day: A Monthly Record of Human Progress, page 552:
      But the crows and squirrels and verious birds called his attention from his work at about every second stroke of the hoe, and the questions I had to answer would have feezed Agassiz.
    • 1913, Hamilton Drummond, Winds of God, page 78:
      That of itself set gossip flying, for Whitcroft, as he had said, was a talky place: but Dave knew and approved, so the evil hints with the tongue in the cheek never feesed me.
    • 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Mucker[1], All-Story Cavalier Weekly:
      [] but as any old fighter will tell you there is nothing more discouraging than to discover that your most effective blows do not feeze your opponent, []
    • 1918 December 7, Miriam Michelson, “Such A Liar”, in Argosy Weekly, page 249:
      Old Dunbar's heavy-lidded yellow eyes lighted on it and turned away. There was about as much encouragement in his leathery face as in my old camel Josephine's, when the gentlemen of her party think they're particularly entertaining. But d'you think that feezed Hustling Billy? He just waited.
    • 1938, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Flood Control, Comprehensive Flood-control Plans, page 953:
      But that did not feeze the old man; he said, “Well, we will put it in the Constitution.”
  2. (transitive) To beat.
    • 1610, Ben Johnson, The Alchemist:
      Come, will you quarrel? I will feeze you, sirrah.
    • 1617, John Fletcher, “The Chances”, in Comedies and Tragedies [], London: [] Humphrey Robinson, [], and for Humphrey Moseley [], published 1647, OCLC 3083972, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      [The characters are fighting.] Well:
      [He] has given me my Quietus est; I felt him
      In my small guts, I'm sure [he] has feez'd me:
      This comes of siding with you.
  3. (transitive) To humble; harass; subdue.
    • 1602, William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida:
      An he proud with me, I'll feeze his pride.
    • 1916 February, Jim Blythe, "The Corn-Cob Club", Public Service Magazine 20, H. J. Gonden, Chicago, page 48:
      He had not been squelched. he had not been feased by the feigned rebuke of the Hon. John Masterson McInnery.
    • 1903, George Ade, The Sultan of Sulu: An Original Satire in Two Acts, page 8:
      At last in deperation the excited man fed the bird a strychnine pill. It ate it ev'ry bit, it feezed it not a whit, and the appetite was keener still.
  4. (transitive) To cause to swing about.
  5. (intransitive) To swing about or flare (as a candle).
    • 1845, Alexander Smart, Rambling rhymes, page 237:
      When stormy winter shook the trees, An' drumly dubs began to freeze, An' Christmas times brought bread an' cheese, An' routh o'whisky, Auld Carlo then his tail would feeze Sae keen an' frisky .
  6. (intransitive) To defeat, settle or finish.
  7. (intransitive) To fret; be in a fume; worry.
    • 1859, Orson Squire Fowler, Matrimony: As Taught by Phrenology and Physiology, page 417:
      Not that mothers should neglect children for husband, but that they might be quite as well off with less of your feezing and fussing, and he much the better with more of your affections.
    • 1900, Washington News Letter, page 698:
      he just did an honest day's work, each day, without worrying and "feezing" about the winter.
    • 1923, Carolyn Wells, Wheels within Wheels:
      “There now,” admonished Lane, “don't you begirt tapping your foot, Mrs. Howland. You'll get all feezed up if you don't hold on to yourself.”
  8. (intransitive) To hurry; to move in an agitated manner.
    • 1839, Mary Palmer, Theophila Gwatkin, editor, A Devonshire Dialogue, page 15:
      Gracious! what a hurly-burly 'twas! How the volks veased [gloss: Hurried, drove] out o' church—higgeldy piggeldy, helter skelter: zich jitting, [gloss: Pushing against each other], driving, and dringing. [gloss: Squeezing]
  9. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (transitive) To dawdle; loiter.
  10. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (transitive) To fetch.

Usage notes[edit]

Over time, this verb largely fell out of use in Standard English and survived only in dialect, from which it re-entered the standard lexicon in the 19th century as faze (in a much more limited sense).

Related terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Scots feeze, from Old Scots fize (screw, noun), from Dutch vijs (screw), from Middle Dutch vise (screw, windlass, winch), from Old French vis, viz (vise, vice), from Latin vītis (vine). Doublet of vice, vise, and withe.


feeze (third-person singular simple present feezes, present participle feezing, simple past and past participle feezed)

  1. (transitive, Scotland) To screw; twist; tighten or loosen by screwing.
    • 1825, James Bissett, An Attempt to delineate Ceres Fair:
      What pushing and crushing
      Amang the lads and lasses;
      What squeezing and feezing
      Wi' ilka ane that passes
    • 1845, Charles Gray, A familiar epistle addressed to P. M'Leod, etc., page 4:
      For forty years—like Rob the Ranter, I've feezed about my rhymin' chanter' Blawn up the bag, and cock'd my bonnet, And tried to "croon an ault Scots sonnet,"
    • 1904, Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme court of the state of Kansas, page 511:
      The superintendent stated that he had tried it, or examined it, the day before and could not budge or feeze it.
  2. (transitive, intransitive, Scotland) To untwist; to unravel, as the end of a rope.
    • 1864, William Duncan Latto, Tammas Bodkin: Or, The Humours of a Scottish Tailor, page 270:
      In short, Tibbie made maist praiseworthy efforts to feeze her fingers oot o' my loof as lang as I held them fast.
    • 1875, Peter Whytock, The Skein O' 'Oo:
      The thread that joins us baith will sune Feeze oot and snap in twa!
    • 2014, David L. Birdsall, “The Moon Past Noon”, in 4 Ergomont plays, page 277:
      I can't feeze it out among these strange entanglements of circumstance and personalities.

Etymology 4[edit]


feeze (third-person singular simple present feezes, present participle feezing, simple past and past participle foze)

  1. (pronunciation spelling) freeze.
    • 1881 March 2, Cora Coral, “A New Year's Story”, in Fountain of Light: A Weekly Journal Devoted to Light Seekers, volume 1, number 21, page 325:
      “How does the snow come;" he asks. “Mama says God makes it snow. Does he keep it up there, and all the rain, too. I s'd t'ink he'd feeze. Mama al'as says, come in Willie, you'll feeze in 'e snow."
    • 1897, Alexandre Dumas, Sylvandire. The woman with the velvet necklace, page 366:
      “Fine weather for feezing! fine weather for feezing! answered the latter, with a mocking look which Sylvandire caught, and which frightened her.
    • 2009, Lois Schillie Eikleberry, One 20Th Century Woman: The Life and Times of a Distaff Doctor:
      When we walked—I carried Linda and held Carol's hand—Carol would whisper to herself over and over, “Going to feeze to deff, going to feeze to deff.”