cold

adjective
\ ˈkōld \

Definition of cold

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having or being a temperature that is uncomfortably low for humans it is cold outside today a cold drafty attic
b : having a relatively low temperature or one lower than normal or expected the bath water has gotten cold
c : not heated: such as
(1) of food : served without heating especially after initial cooking or processing cold cereal cold roast beef
(2) : served chilled or with ice a cold drink
(3) : involving processing without the use of heat cold working of steel
2a : marked by a lack of the warmth of normal human emotion, friendliness, or compassion a cold stare got a cold reception also : not moved to enthusiasm the movie leaves me cold
b : not colored or affected by personal feeling or bias : detached, indifferent cold chronicles recorded by an outsider— Andrew Sarris also : impersonal, objective cold facts cold reality
c : marked by sure familiarity : pat had her lines cold weeks before opening night
3 : conveying the impression of being cold: such as
a : depressing, gloomy cold gray skies
4a : marked by the loss of normal body heat cold hands especially : dead … she lay cold and still—she was gone … — Upton Sinclair
b : giving the appearance of being dead : unconscious passed out cold
5a : having lost freshness or vividness : stale dogs trying to pick up a cold scent
b : far off the mark : not close to finding or solving used especially in children's games
c : marked by poor or unlucky performance the team's shooting turned cold in the second half
d : not prepared or suitably warmed up The player's sub entered the game cold.
in cold blood
: with premeditation : deliberately was killed in cold blood

cold

noun

Definition of cold (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : bodily sensation produced by loss or lack of heat they died of the cold
2 : a condition of low temperature extremes of heat and cold especially : cold weather He waited outside for her in the bitter cold.
3 : a bodily disorder popularly associated with chilling specifically : common cold She came down with a cold.
out in the cold
: deprived of benefits given others the plan benefits management but leaves labor out in the cold

cold

adverb

Definition of cold (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : with utter finality : absolutely, completely turned down cold also : abruptly stopped them cold
2a : without introduction or advance notice walked in cold to apply for a job
b : without preparation or warm-up was asked to perform the solo cold

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cold

Adjective

coldish \ ˈkōld-​ish \ adjective
coldly \ ˈkōl(d)-​lē \ adverb
coldness \ ˈkōl(d)-​nəs \ noun

Examples of cold in a Sentence

Adjective

The water was too cold for swimming. The weather has been unusually cold this spring. a country with a cold climate It was a long, cold winter. It's cold outside, but the wind makes it feel even colder. It's bitterly cold out there! metal that is cold to the touch Are you cold? I could turn up the temperature if you'd like. a bowl of cold cereal He ate cold pizza for breakfast.

Noun

I mind cold more than heat. They died of exposure to cold. The cold really sets in around late November and doesn't let up until April. I stood there shivering in the cold. He waited outside for her in the bitter cold. Come in out of the cold. It's not the flu, it's just a cold.

Adverb

She was asked to perform the song cold.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

When your engine is cold, the gasoline is less likely to evaporate and create the correct ratio of air and vaporized fuel for combustion. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Warming Up Your Car in the Cold Just Harms the Engine," 28 Dec. 2018 Kuiper Belt objects are incredibly cold — just 35 degrees Kelvin above absolute zero. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 Our hands may be cold, but at least our hearts are warm. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "35 Cool Winter Instagram Captions for All of Your Snow-Filled Photos," 6 Nov. 2018 Shake vigorously until shaker is cold, 10 to 20 seconds. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Orange-Thyme Old-Fashioned," 31 Oct. 2018 No suspects were identified and the case went cold. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Single fingerprint helps crack decades-old cold case," 12 July 2018 Now that he is gone, there is only Chief Justice John Roberts to prevent the cold civil war from getting hot. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018 Keeping Your Dog Warm in Cold Weather Despite having fur all over, dogs and cats do get cold. Robin Tribble, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make Sure Your Pets Have a Happy Holiday Too," 12 Nov. 2018 At that point, the other person gets cold and begins playing a classic game of top sheet-tug-of-war. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "For The Love Of Good Sleep, Stop Using A Top Sheet," 3 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are traditions, such as the chance of catching a cold between the travel, mingling and working in the drafty, cavernous Cobo Center, the downtown convention center parked on the edge of the frigid Detroit River. Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, "Slush, Snow, the ‘Cobo Cough.’ Detroit Holds Its Last Winter Auto Show," 13 Jan. 2019 As with a mild cold or flu, respiratory syncytial virus symptoms usually include a runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever, and wheezing, the CDC says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Respiratory Syncytial Virus Is the Flu-Like Illness You Haven't Heard About," 3 Jan. 2019 Then the rest of the world seemed to catch the same cold (see chart 1). The Economist, "World economic growth is slowing. Don’t worry—yet," 19 May 2018 Bronchitis is usually brought on by a viral infection, like a cold or the flu, piling on top of an already miserable state of affairs. Amy Marturana, SELF, "8 Bronchitis Symptoms Everyone Should Know," 28 Dec. 2018 Tumblr’s users and creators have been caught in the middle of a series of corporate decisions that have left them out in the cold. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Tumblr’s porn ban could be its downfall — after all, it happened to LiveJournal," 6 Dec. 2018 But the theory keeps floating around the Internet like a bad cold. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook has 'no plans' to listen in on your conversations (for now), but the creepy stories mount," 23 June 2018 Adding to the stress of the cold was the fact that the boys were using non-standard cave-diving gear in the form of full face masks, which would make their own breathing sound vaguely Darth Vader-esque. Chris Peterman, Ars Technica, "Risky Thailand cave rescue relied on talent, luck—and on sticking to the rules," 22 July 2018 Kareem simply wanted out of the Milwaukee cold and into the L.A. sun. Jack Mccallum, SI.com, "Go West, Big Man: The Logo on LeBron James and the Allure of Los Angeles," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Consulting the Yellow Pages, he cold-called the store, and got the job because Holloway’s mother got a good feeling about him on the phone. Gavin Edwards, charlotteobserver, "Pianos, mules, guitar strings: A 106-year-old family business is bidding it all goodbye," 8 June 2018 This wasn’t a promotional gimmick as much as an indication of the cheapness of Finley and persistence of Baer, who cold-called the owner to get the job. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Hot Pants Day’ and four other Oakland A’s gimmicks from the 1970s," 26 Mar. 2018 But the Falcons went ice cold early in the second half, and Milwaukee Lutheran went on a 13-4 run that gave the Red Knights a 60-54 lead with 12 minutes to play. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brown Deer shores up piece of sixth conference title in high-scoring win over Milwaukee Lutheran," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cold.' 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 cold

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adverb

1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cold

Adjective

Middle English, going back to Old English cald (Anglian), ceald (West Saxon), going back to Germanic *kalða- (whence Old Saxon cald "cold," Middle Dutch cout, Old High German kalt, Old Norse kaldr, Gothic kalds), verbal adjective from *kalan- "to be cold" (whence Old English calan "to be cold, to make cold," Old Norse kala "to freeze") going back to a dialectal Indo-European base *ǵel-, *ǵol-, whence also Latin gelū, gelus "frost, cold," gelāre "to freeze, chill"

Noun

Middle English, going back to Old English ceald, cald, noun derivative of ceald, cald cold entry 1 (or derivative from the Germanic base of these adjectives)

Adverb

derivative of cold entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cold

Statistics for cold

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cold

The first known use of cold was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cold

cold

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of cold

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a very low temperature

: having a feeling of low body heat

of food : not heated

cold

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cold (Entry 2 of 3)

: a cold condition

the cold : cold weather

: a common illness that affects the nose, throat, and eyes and that usually causes coughing, sneezing, etc.

cold

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of cold (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a very clear, complete, and definite way

: in a sudden way

: without practicing or preparing before doing something

cold

adjective
\ ˈkōld \
colder; coldest

Kids Definition of cold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having a low temperature or one much below normal a cold day
2 : suffering from lack of warmth I feel cold.
3 : cooled after being cooked We ate cold chicken.
4 : served at a low temperature or with ice Have a cold drink.
5 : lacking warmth of feeling : unfriendly She's been cold to me ever since our disagreement.
in cold blood
: with planning beforehand

Other Words from cold

coldly adverb
coldness noun

cold

noun

Kids Definition of cold (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a condition of low temperature : cold weather I can't stand the cold.
2 : the bodily feeling produced by lack of warmth : chill He was shivering with cold.

cold

adjective
\ ˈkōld \

Medical Definition of cold

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having or being a temperature that is noticeably lower than body temperature and especially that is uncomfortable for humans a cold drafty room
b : having a relatively low temperature or one that is lower than normal or expected the bath water has gotten cold
c : receptive to the sensation of coldness : stimulated by cold a cold spot is a typical receptor in higher vertebrates
2 : marked by the loss of normal body heat cold hands
3 : dead
4 : exhibiting little or no radioactivity

Other Words from cold

coldness \ ˈkōl(d)-​nəs \ noun

cold

noun

Medical Definition of cold (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : bodily sensation produced by loss or lack of heat
2 : a bodily disorder popularly associated with chilling:
a in humans : common cold
b in domestic animals : coryza

Medical Definition of COLD (Entry 3 of 3)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cold

Spanish Central: Translation of cold

Nglish: Translation of cold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cold for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cold

Comments on cold

What made you want to look up cold? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!