Definitionenregional note: in BRIT, also use fossilise
1. ergative verb & verb If the remains of an animal or plant fossilize or are fossilized, they become hard and form fossils, instead of decaying completely. [V] ⇒ The most important parts, the flowers, rarely fossilise. [be V-ed] ⇒ The survival of the proteins depends on the way in which bones are fossilised. [V-ed] ⇒ ...fossilized dinosaur bones. 2. ergative verb & verb If you say that ideas, attitudes, or ways of behaving have fossilized or have been fossilized, you are criticizing the fact that they are fixed and unlikely to change, in spite of changing situations or circumstances. [disapproval] [V n] ⇒ What they seem to want to do in fact is fossilize the particular environment in which people live and work. [V] ⇒ Needs change while policies fossilize. fossilized
graded adjective & adjective ⇒ ...these fossilized organisations.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers