algid

adjective

al·​gid ˈal-jəd How to pronounce algid (audio)
: cold

Did you know?

Algid is a rather cold and lonely word, etymologically speaking-it's the only word in any of the dictionaries we publish that comes from the Latin word algēre, meaning "to feel cold." Also, English speakers have warmed to its many synonyms-among them "cold," "frigid," "arctic," "chill"-much more readily than they've taken to "algid." Even its compatriot, "gelid"-also a Latin-derived adjective that can describe ice and arctic temperatures-has managed to outpace it in most decades of the approximately 400 years the words have been in use. In one context, though, "algid" does something its synonyms don't: it describes a severe form of malaria that is marked by prostration, cold and clammy skin, and low blood pressure-a meaning that probably hasn't done much to endear the more general use to speakers of English.

Examples of algid in a Sentence

the rescuers searching the algid waters of the Bering Sea

Word History

Etymology

Latin algidus, from algēre to feel cold

First Known Use

circa 1623, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of algid was circa 1623

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Dictionary Entries Near algid

Cite this Entry

“Algid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/algid. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition

algid

adjective
al·​gid ˈal-jəd How to pronounce algid (audio)
: marked by prostration, cold and clammy skin, and low blood pressure
used chiefly of a severe form of malaria
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