chill·ing | \ˈchi-liŋ \

Definition of chilling 

: gravely disturbing or frightening a chilling case of abuse

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Other Words from chilling

chillingly \ˈchi-liŋ-lē \ 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

Sorry to Bother You’s deliberate lack of panache is sometimes a huge strength, particularly in its most chilling set piece, in which Cash is asked to rap in front of Steve and his coterie of rich hangers-on. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Is Fizzy, Flawed, and Fascinating," 6 July 2018 But perhaps most chilling, like Barbara's, Claire's breast had also been mutilated. CBS News, "Were the murders of California teens the work of a serial killer?," 9 June 2018 Nikolas Cruz confessed to the worst school shooting in Florida history, according to police accounts released late Thursday that paint a chilling narrative of a calculated mass murder. Nicholas Nehamas, Joey Flechas, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Florida school shooter arrived by Uber, escaped to Walmart after, cops say," 15 Feb. 2018 By far the most chilling behavior is the public harassment incited by coworkers, says Fong-Jones. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Google employees say the company's not doing enough to protect them from harassment, threats," 26 Jan. 2018 The details of Winslow’s alleged crimes are truly chilling. Michael Mccann,, "Could Kellen Winslow Jr.'s Attorneys Use Football-Induced Brain Injury as Defense for Alleged Crimes?," 16 June 2018 The parallels between that evening and November 8, 2016, were almost chilling. Will Bunch,, "World Cup with no U.S. is a metaphor for what's wrong in America right now | Will Bunch," 12 June 2018 An audio recording from the Southwest plane that experienced a deadly engine explosion on Tuesday paints a chilling picture of the flight’s last minutes in the air. Mackenzie Schmidt,, "Hear Southwest Pilot's Chilling Conversation with Air Traffic Control After Engine Explosion," 19 Apr. 2018 Science advocates have raised alarms about self-censorship under the Trump administration, saying political research reviews and staff reassignments create a chilling atmosphere (Climatewire, May 15). Adam Aton, Scientific American, "Government Sea Level Rise Report Released After Charges of Censorship," 21 May 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

13 Oct 2018

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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 \

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).


not any or not one

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