chilling

adjective
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

Synonyms for chilling

Synonyms

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The uncertainty around Brexit has also had a chilling effect on U.K. deal-making activity. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "No-Deal Brexit Could Spur U.K. Goodwill Impairments," 7 Mar. 2019 Suddenly, the room quieted down when Billie Eilish graced the stage to serenade and hypnotize the entire room with her chilling voice. Kendall Lindsay, Vogue, "Billie Eilish Performs at the Launch Party for Garage Magazine's Latest Issue," 6 Feb. 2019 Last week’s polar vortex brought another chilling reminder about the economic damage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s shale-drilling blockade. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Cuomo’s Cold Weather Tax," 4 Feb. 2019 This modern take on the classic series will maintain the chilling feeling viewers loved about the original, while also telling the stories through the lens of a premium Netflix documentary series. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Unsolved Mysteries' Is Getting a Netflix Reboot So Prepare to Have Nightmares Forever," 24 Jan. 2019 Ojai has the spa offerings, a big plus for Hyland, a skin-care devotee who highly recommends chilling sheet masks in the fridge before applying. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Dialysis and Her Second Kidney Transplant," 10 Dec. 2018 In other species, ritual greetings seem to play a role in chilling-out tense moments. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Some clues about why male Guinea baboons fondle each other’s genitals," 18 Nov. 2018 Her chilling performance as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale perfectly captures the horror of what can happen when women uphold—and support—misogynistic culture. Glamour, "Follow Glamour's 2018 Women of the Year Summit Live," 11 Nov. 2018 In the case of The Little Stranger, the result is a ghost story that doubles as a chilling look at toxic masculinity. Aja Romano, Vox, "How The Little Stranger uses its ghost story to mask a study in toxic masculinity," 6 Sep. 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.

See More

First Known Use of chilling

1815, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chilling

Statistics for chilling

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chilling

The first known use of chilling was in 1815

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chilling

chilling

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of chilling

: very disturbing or frightening

chilling

adjective
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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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