Definition of fossilize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfɒs(ə)lʌɪz/
Pronunciation: /ˈfɒsɪlʌɪz/
(also fossilise)


[with object]
1Preserve (an animal or plant) so that it becomes a fossil: the hard parts of the body are readily fossilized
More example sentences
  • No in situ fossilized trees were found preserved within channel sandstone bodies.
  • Many fossilized insects and animal fossils are identical to those living today.
  • Small fish bones, delicate leaves, even animal skin have been fossilized and beautifully preserved.
rare lapidified
archaic, antiquated, antediluvian, old-fashioned, quaint, outdated, outmoded, behind the times, anachronistic, stuck in time
informal prehistoric
1.1 [no object] Become a fossil: flowers do not readily fossilize
More example sentences
  • They fossilize readily and in recognizable form because the interlocking desmas retain the original form of the sponge.
  • However, the paucity of modern cycad trunks to cycadeoid trunks in the fossil record suggests that the modern cycad trunks did not fossilize as readily as the extinct variety.
  • Attachment of quartz and kaolinite to the surface of lobster eggs demonstrates experimentally for the first time that soft tissues could fossilize in pre-existing minerals.
1.2Become or cause to become fixed and incapable of change or development: [with object]: we want to see a working countryside—we don’t want to see it fossilized
More example sentences
  • This atmosphere had the weird property of deadening and fossilising every thing that slid under its sway.
  • Canons of literature may fossilize their subject and reduce its study to dry memorization for its own sake.
  • The system is bureaucratic, distorts land use and fossilises the countryside and businesses.



Pronunciation: /fɒsəlʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /fɒsɪlʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • That has led many to posit that the ‘cambrian explosion’ is more likely an artifact of the differential fossilization of animals with hard parts, particularly exo-skeletons, than of a real explosion.
  • So it is simply false, given what we know about the process of fossilization, to declare that we should have a perfect record of every species and therefore should have a perfect sequence of fossils documenting every transition.
  • It was not developed to ‘get around the data’, it was developed to apply what we knew about genetics to what we should then expect in terms of fossilization.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fos¦sil|ize

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