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Alternative forms[edit]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfɒs.ɪl.aɪz/, /ˈfɒsl̩aɪz/


fossilize ‎(third-person singular simple present fossilizes, present participle fossilizing, simple past and past participle fossilized)

  1. (transitive) to make into a fossil
    • 1989, Grant Naylor, Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
      Most of the booths had been scooped clean by the scalpel-sharp corner of the glacier in the crash. Three remained. Two of them were punctured and, inside, the once-human occupants had been fossilized into the walls by centuries upon centuries of patient ice.
  2. (intransitive) to become a fossil
  3. (figuratively, by extension, intransitive) to become inflexible or outmoded
  4. (figuratively, by extension, transitive) To make antiquated, rigid, or fixed; to deaden.
    • Elizabeth Browning
      Ten layers of birthdays on a woman's head / Are apt to fossilize her girlish mirth.


Related terms[edit]