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fossilize

or (especially British) fossilise

[fos-uh-lahyz] /ˈfɒs əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), fossilized, fossilizing.
1.
Geology. to convert into a fossil; replace organic with mineral substances in the remains of an organism.
2.
to change as if into mere lifeless remains or traces of the past.
3.
to make rigidly antiquated:
Time has fossilized such methods.
verb (used without object), fossilized, fossilizing.
4.
to become a fossil or fossillike:
The plant fossilized in comparatively recent geologic time.
5.
Linguistics. (of a linguistic form, feature, rule, etc.) to become permanently established in the interlanguage of a second-language learner in a form that is deviant from the target-language norm and that continues to appear in performance regardless of further exposure to the target language.
Origin of fossilize
1785-1795
1785-95; fossil + -ize
Related forms
fossilizable, adjective
fossilization, noun
semifossilized, adjective
unfossilized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fossilization
Historical Examples
  • To evoking the instincts of bygone ages, which have not been preserved by fossilization?

    More Hunting Wasps J. Henri Fabre
  • A very common kind of fossilization is the preservation of only the hard parts of organisms.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Such hard parts or shells were commonly favorable for fossilization.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Glimpses there were of the handy, affectionate, sympathizing woman, emerging from fossilization.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • Till men began to wonder at the stratification of rocks, and the fossilization of shells, there was no science of Geology.

    Westminster Sermons Charles Kingsley
British Dictionary definitions for fossilization

fossilize

/ˈfɒsɪˌlaɪz/
verb
1.
to convert or be converted into a fossil
2.
to become or cause to become antiquated or inflexible
Derived Forms
fossilizable, fossilisable, adjective
fossilization, fossilisation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fossilization

fossilize

v.

1794, from fossil + -ize. Figurative use from 1856. Related: Fossilized; fossilizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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