Meaning of fossilize

fos•sil•ize

Pronunciation: (fos'u-līz"), [key]
— v., -ized, -iz•ing.
—v.t.
  1. 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.
—v.i.
  1. to become a fossil or fossillike: The plant fossilized in comparatively recent geologic time.
  2. (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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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