freeze-up

[freez-uhp]
noun Informal.
1.
a freezing over of a body of water in an area.
2.
a period of below-freezing temperatures.
3.
the condition of being immobilized or inoperative through freezing: car engine freeze-up in winter.

Origin:
1875–80, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase freeze up

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
freeze-up
 
n
1.  a period of freezing or extremely cold weather
2.  (US), (Canadian)
 a.  the freezing of lakes, rivers, and topsoil in autumn or early winter
 b.  the time of year when this occurs

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Well, one short-term liquidity freeze-up has been averted, and maybe something
  good will happen before more bad news strikes.
The collapse of the financial industry touched off the freeze-up in the credit
  markets.
If the water hose to the unit has not yet been insulated, consider letting a
  trickle of water run at night to prevent freeze-up.
Occasionally large freeze-up ice jams occur in this reach of the river.
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