Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To convert into a fossil.
  • intransitive verb To make outmoded or inflexible with time; antiquate.
  • intransitive verb To become a fossil.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To reduce to a fossil condition; convert into a fossil: as, to fossilize bones or wood.
  • To render like a fossil; cause to become antiquated or out of harmony with present time and circumstances and the progress of ideas: as, age has a tendency to fossilize men's minds and ideas.
  • To become or be changed into a fossil.
  • To become antiquated or obsolete; become out of harmony with the present time and circumstances by falling behind the progress of ideas.
  • Also spelled fossilise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To convert into a fossil; to petrify.
  • transitive verb To cause to become antiquated, rigid, or fixed, as by fossilization; to mummify; to deaden.
  • intransitive verb To become fossil.
  • intransitive verb To become antiquated, rigid, or fixed, beyond the influence of change or progress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive to become a fossil
  • verb by extension, intransitive to become inflexible or outmoded

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb convert to a fossil
  • verb become mentally inflexible

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Microbes can flash fossilize and presto, you can have a microfossil that registers as extraterrestrial when it was alive on Earth not that long before.

    First Contact

  • Though brains don't normally fossilize, we do have a great deal of fossil evidence revealing the long evolutionary history of chordates.

    Assessing Fault

  • Otherwise, there is a danger that they will simply mark time as language learners, or even – to use a now fairly discredited term – fossilize.

    July « 2010 « An A-Z of ELT

  • Microbes can flash fossilize and presto, you can have a microfossil that registers as extraterrestrial when it was alive on Earth not that long before.

    First Contact

  • Zachriel: Brains don't normally fossilize, but we know that human brains fit the nested hierarchy, that human brains are comprised of modifications of structures found in related organisms, that craniates follow a long, diversifying path of evolutionary history, and that humans are derived hominids.

    Assessing Fault

  • State politics fossilize; Democrats see little reason to give up the spending they like if enough Republicans won't meet them anywhere close to the middle.

    Wisconsin governor's -- and the GOP's -- strange 'budget discipline'

  • Otherwise, there is a danger that they will simply mark time as language learners, or even – to use a now fairly discredited term – fossilize.

    P is for Push « An A-Z of ELT

  • State politics fossilize; Democrats see little reason to give up the spending they like if enough Republicans won't meet them anywhere close to the middle.

    Stromberg: Wisconsin governor's -- and the GOP's -- strange 'budget discipline'

  • Brains don't normally fossilize, but we know that human brains fit the nested hierarchy, that human brains are comprised of modifications of structures found in related organisms, that craniates follow a long, diversifying path of evolutionary history, and that humans are derived hominids.

    Assessing Fault

  • Within several months, the ash will simply blow away into the atmospheric background or fossilize to form new rock.

    The Ash Cloud’s Silver Lining

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