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fossilize

[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.
Also, especially British, fossilise.
Origin
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. 2014.
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Examples for fossilize
  • Sharks are made of cartilage, which does not fossilize well.
  • Because the brain does not fossilize, they studied endocasts, imprints of the brain left in the skull.
  • Words may simply have their semantic range altered, or existing words may fossilize in phrases acting as single semantic units.
British Dictionary definitions for fossilize

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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fossilize in Science
fossil
  (fŏs'əl)   
The remains or imprint of an organism from a previous geologic time. A fossil can consist of the preserved tissues of an organism, as when encased in amber, ice, or pitch, or more commonly of the hardened relic of such tissues, as when organic matter is replaced by dissolved minerals. Hardened fossils are often found in layers of sedimentary rock and along the beds of rivers that flow through them. See also index fossil, microfossil, trace fossil.

fossilize verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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21
22
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