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 Ranking Minority Party Member Anthony Gonzales (R-OH) warned regulators should not take steps backwards by overregulating AI which could have a chilling effect on the technology. Ted Knutson, Forbes, "AI Lending Discrimination Needs To Be Tackled With Legislation Says House Financial Services Chair," 7 May 2021 The timeline has also had a chilling effect on 2022 House races, as potential candidates wait to see what district lines will look like before jumping in. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, "Texas, North Carolina to gain congressional seats, according to 2020 Census," 27 Apr. 2021 Wednesday’s report is a chilling reminder of the extent to which mass shooters’ motivations can elude investigators after the fact. Washington Post, "'No evidence’: Motive of Virginia Beach mass shooter remains a mystery, report finds," 24 Mar. 2021 But the saga was a chilling reminder of life’s fragility under TPS. Dara Lind, ProPublica, "Biden Opened Temporary Legal Status to Thousands of Immigrants. Here’s How They Could End Up Trapped.," 16 Mar. 2021 The effect was thrilling, but the empty stadium seating struck me as yet another chilling reminder of how much the world has changed. Amy Verner, Vogue, "Feeling FOMO? What Paris Fashion Week Was Like for Vogue Runway’s Local Reporter," 12 Mar. 2021 The damage her father has done during his administration is a chilling reminder of Gilead’s controlling regime. Eliza Huber,, "What Message Is Ivanka Trump Trying To Send With This Handmaid’s Tale Dress?," 7 Dec. 2020 Our first foray into sickness after staying home since March was a chilling reminder of how easily an entire household can get sick. Chaunie Brusie, Glamour, "I Sent My Kids Back to School. It Took 3 Days for Them to Get Sick.," 15 Oct. 2020 But the story of how David Guerrero, an otherwise healthy 48-year-old Fort Lauderdale airport worker, almost lost his right leg to the virus serves as a chilling reminder of the potential costs of our learning curve with this new disease. Mario Ariza,, "Doctors see rise in limb-threatening blood clots during COVID-19 crisis," 15 Aug. 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.

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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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Statistics for chilling

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chilling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 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

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