chill·​ing | \ˈchi-liŋ \

Definition of chilling 

: gravely disturbing or frightening a chilling case of abuse

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Other Words from chilling

chillingly \ˈchi-​liŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for chilling


bitter, bleak, chill, chilly, nipping, nippy, raw, sharp

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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

That was when Nadia realized the most chilling fact of her captivity: The women were in on it. Nadia Murad, Glamour, "Nadia Murad Escaped Sexual Slavery at the Hands of ISIS. This Is Her Story.," 5 Oct. 2018 Also notable, this brief, chilling moment shared by reporter Jules Suzdaltsev. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "In Haunting Clip, Trump Again Proves He Has No Idea How to Drink Water," 6 June 2018 The chilling moment was captured by newspaper photographer Ryan Kelly, of the Charlottesville Daily Progress. Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY, "Couple who survived Charlottesville attack get married in service dedicated to slain friend," 18 May 2018 And the ruling also found that surveillance violated freedom of expression because of its potential chilling effects on journalists. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "“Bulk interception” by GCHQ (and NSA) violated human rights charter, European court rules," 13 Sep. 2018 The Mint Bubble Brush, on the other hand, provides a chilling effect, thanks to a generous dose of peppermint oil. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Lush’s Bubble Brush Bars Will Turn Your Tub into a Personal Playground," 25 Aug. 2018 Sorry to Bother You’s deliberate lack of panache is sometimes a huge strength, particularly in its most chilling set piece, in which Cash is asked to rap in front of Steve and his coterie of rich hangers-on. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Is Fizzy, Flawed, and Fascinating," 6 July 2018 But perhaps most chilling, like Barbara's, Claire's breast had also been mutilated. CBS News, "Were the murders of California teens the work of a serial killer?," 9 June 2018 Nikolas Cruz confessed to the worst school shooting in Florida history, according to police accounts released late Thursday that paint a chilling narrative of a calculated mass murder. Nicholas Nehamas, Joey Flechas, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Florida school shooter arrived by Uber, escaped to Walmart after, cops say," 15 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for chilling

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for chilling

The first known use of chilling was in 1815

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More Definitions for chilling



English Language Learners Definition of chilling

: very disturbing or frightening


chill·​ing | \ˈchi-liŋ \

Kids Definition of chilling

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

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Comments on chilling

What made you want to look up chilling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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