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

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

But some analysts said his surprise detention might have a chilling effect on Venezuela’s opposition. Aritz Parra, The Seattle Times, "Venezuela’s ex-spy chief arrested in Madrid on US warrant," 13 Apr. 2019 The group also makes the case that the ban could have a chilling impact on the tech sector in Massachusetts and across the country. Jon Chesto,, "Mass. tech leaders take stand against Trump’s travel ban," 24 Apr. 2018 And while this is certainly better than a more explicitly draconian approach, the grey area leaves a lot of room for interpretation that could result in a chilling effect regardless. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "EU Passes New Copyright Rules That Could Have a Disastrous Effect," 26 Mar. 2019 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

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

28 Apr 2019

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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 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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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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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