Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

freeze up

freeze up
Meaning(s)
1) to become still as a result of fear or embarrassment
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • freeze up with fear
  • Analysis

    If someone 'freezes up' it is usually the result of a difficult, traumatic or high focus situation. When you freeze up you find it unable to move, talk or respond to the situation you are in. This is an idiom that describes the physical response of stillness to such situations. It is suited to both social or professional contexts.


  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I always freeze up when I'm put on the spot at a dinner party.
    2. Don't ask Susan to give a speech. She froze up last time.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. There are many relaxation techniques you can employ to avoid freezing up when dealing with a high focus situation.
    2. When they put me on the spot by asking me a difficult question I just froze up because I didn't know how to answer it.
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