from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To stop functioning; to come to a halt.
  • v. To stiffen or become tight and difficult to move.
  • v. To stop working suddenly, and become impossible to start again.


The term originates c. 1870 referring to a machine which jammed up because of excessive heat or friction. It has been used figuratively since c. 1950. (Wiktionary)


  • Gornt felt a sudden glow as he remembered the white hot thrill he had felt watching the road race, knowing that any moment the tai-pan's engine would seize up — watching the cars howl past lap after lap, and then Dunross, the leader, not coming in his turn — then waiting and hoping and then the news that he had spun out at Melco Hairpin in a metal screaming crash when his engine went.

    Noble House


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