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 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 Critics have said Trump’s move has had a chilling effect on diversity training programs. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz,, "Biden expected to usher in an era of worker-friendly labor policies," 25 Nov. 2020 The increasing homophobia has had a chilling effect on Hungary’s LGBTQ community. NBC News, "As the pandemic rages, Hungary ramps up anti-LGBTQ legislation," 23 Nov. 2020 Civil rights organizations say the risk of being identified and targeted can have a chilling effect on people’s ability to protest legally. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "Did a University Use Facial Recognition to ID Student Protesters?," 18 Nov. 2020 Critics of the Trump administration have argued that the president’s rhetoric and policies toward foreign visitors and immigration have had a chilling effect on international student enrollment. Washington Post, "Pandemic leads tens of thousands of international students to delay plans to enter U.S. colleges, survey shows," 16 Nov. 2020 And despite the pandemic’s chilling effect on the rest of the economy, Twele has hired four employees in the past year. Jonathan Wosen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Top-ranked small company: Coffman Engineers, where having a good time is all in a day’s work," 15 Nov. 2020 The government’s litigiousness has had a chilling effect. The Economist, "Aung San Suu Kyi was supposed to set Burmese democracy free," 7 Nov. 2020 Several cities said such a chilling effect was already evident. Sophia Tareen, Star Tribune, "US judge blocks Trump immigration rule on public benefits," 2 Nov. 2020 The fear created by threats and violence has a chilling effect on the nation’s political process, said Katherine Cramer, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Washington Post, "Politics pit neighbor against neighbor as Election Day looms," 31 Oct. 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

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chilling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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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

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