chill·​ing | \ ˈchi-liŋ How to pronounce chilling (audio) \

Definition of chilling

: gravely disturbing or frightening a chilling case of abuse

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Other Words from chilling

chillingly \ ˈchi-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce chilling (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for chilling


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Examples of chilling in a Sentence

a Southern visitor who was unused to the chilling air of a Northeast winter
Recent Examples on the Web Jennifer Coolidge turns her comic persona dark to chilling effect., 19 July 2021 Critics have attacked Hughes’ legislation as having a chilling effect on important conversations about controversial issues. Emily Donaldson, Dallas News, 16 July 2021 Uber refused to provide the information, saying in filings with the commission that the victims had not given their consent and that doing so risked retraumatizing them along with having a chilling effect on future reports. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 July 2021 The repercussions of that partnership are becoming more clear: profound limits on teachers’ capacity to teach, whether through direct intervention or the chilling effect that these laws seem designed to inspire. Esther Wang, The New Republic, 14 July 2021 There is also a chilling effect on researchers who want to study AAPI issues but implicitly know there might be more barriers to funding and publishing their work. Amy Yee, Scientific American, 8 July 2021 After all, no one wants negative search results to have a chilling effect on their business. Yec, Forbes, 5 July 2021 Despite the potential chilling effect, legal experts say the court’s decision was based on an uncommon technicality and probably won’t have wider legal implications. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2021 Even before the law passed, a chilling effect could be seen throughout the city, with political and activist groups disbanding and many citizens hastily deleting social media posts and accounts prior to June 30. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 29 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chilling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chilling

1815, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for chilling

Time Traveler

The first known use of chilling was in 1815

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Dictionary Entries Near chilling

chill factor



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Statistics for chilling

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chilling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for chilling



English Language Learners Definition of chilling

: very disturbing or frightening


chill·​ing | \ ˈchi-liŋ How to pronounce chilling (audio) \

Kids Definition of chilling

: very upsetting or frightening But nearly every book mentioned one chilling story …— Ann M. Martin, Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation

More from Merriam-Webster on chilling

Nglish: Translation of chilling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chilling for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about chilling


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