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

Definition of chilling

: gravely disturbing or frightening a chilling case of abuse

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from chilling

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

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 Schildhouse noted that the pandemic and ongoing health advisory has had a chilling effect on any initiatives by the residents. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "The Ascent continues at Top of the Hill with groundbreaking on $83 million development in Cleveland Heights," 25 June 2020 The resurgence of coronavirus cases in certain parts of the country is having a chilling effect on commerce in those areas. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Spikes in coronavirus infections chill economies in cities trying to reopen," 25 June 2020 An audiotape of their 2016 meeting, in which Janiak berates the parents, provides one of the more chilling moments of the documentary. Washington Post, "Pope moves against Polish bishop accused of hiding predators," 25 June 2020 Voters should leave a slot for The Plot Against America, a chilling and never-more-timely period piece about a country destroying itself from within. Kristen Baldwin,, "Emmys 2020: Who should be nominated," 22 June 2020 But Gamaldi warned that certain measures could have a chilling effect on cops who need to make split-second, life-or-death decisions. Fox News, "After years of union objections, police reform legislation advances," 16 June 2020 His story offered a chilling reminder of how ordinary people, not monsters, made the Nazi regime and its heinous crimes. Daniel Lee, Time, "After World War II, Most ‘Ordinary Nazis’ Returned to Lives of Obscurity. The World Must Recover Their Stories Before It’s Too Late," 16 June 2020 Meanwhile, in Thailand, Brunei and Fiji, new laws creating broad offenses around online content have created a major chilling effect according to press freedom watchdogs. James Griffiths, CNN, "Duterte's war on the press in the Philippines could provide a model for Hong Kong and beyond," 15 June 2020 And his sincerely constructed carapace of normal science is what makes the work especially chilling. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Revisiting Mengele’s Malignant “Race Science”," 15 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of chilling

1815, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chilling

Time Traveler for chilling

Time Traveler

The first known use of chilling was in 1815

See more words from the same year

Statistics for chilling

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chilling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chilling


How to pronounce chilling (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!