cold

adjective
\ ˈkōld How to pronounce cold (audio) \

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

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Other Words from cold

Adjective

coldish \ ˈkōld-​ish How to pronounce coldish (audio) \ adjective
coldly \ ˈkōl(d)-​lē How to pronounce coldly (audio) \ adverb
coldness \ ˈkōl(d)-​nəs How to pronounce coldness (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Just as that rubber strip creates a seal to keep cold air and moisture from leaking in under the door, the concrete sill meets up with the lock’s gate and creates a seal to keep water in the lock. Gillian Flaccus, The Seattle Times, "Broken Columbia River barge lock means commerce chokehold," 10 Sep. 2019 Cooling off with a cold beverage after a day at the beach or on the golf course seems only natural. BostonGlobe.com, "Cape Cod is officially awash in craft beer - The Boston Globe," 10 Sep. 2019 The third group, subjected to rapid cold hardening, spent two hours adjusting from 2 degrees to -5 degrees, then 24 hours acclimating to -9 degrees. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "How Antarctica’s Only Native Insect Survives the Freezing Temperatures," 10 Sep. 2019 Just as that rubber strip creates a seal to keep cold air and moisture from leaking in under the door, the concrete sill meets up with the lock’s gate and creates a seal to keep water in the lock. Washington Post, "Broken Columbia River barge lock means commerce chokehold," 9 Sep. 2019 Local meteorologist Ben Castellani theorizes the lack of recent September snowfall could, simply, be due to a lack of cold air in an overall warming climate. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Whatever happened to September snowfall in Denver?," 8 Sep. 2019 But, as every peasant in the Andes knows, frost is not, since cold air funnels into valleys. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: What Dorian tells us about risk and scale," 8 Sep. 2019 Keep the refrigerator closed as much as possible to keep cold air trapped. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Homeowner's Last-Minute Hurricane Prep Checklist," 3 Sep. 2019 Tornadoes form when warm, humid air collides with cold, dry air. Ron Johnson, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 28 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There were no blossoms this spring on any of the orchard's 2,500 peach trees, and 25 trees died as a result of the cold. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Crazy weather means there are no peaches to pick at Apple Holler, but apples could be ready as early as next week," 29 July 2019 Up to 10% of colds are thought to be caused by adenoviruses. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Death of 9-year-old Milpitas boy to common virus perplexes doctors," 14 July 2019 The instant bite to exposed skin from this past winter’s polar vortex might be a distant memory, but the consequences of the bitter cold are visible in shrubbery and trees throughout Naperville. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Polar vortex blamed for browning boxwoods and other trees, shrubs," 9 June 2019 Production at the facility has slowed with the arrival of the cold, but Maria Barbosa, a bioprocess engineer, says the colors are even more stunning when the microalgae are actively growing. Marta Zaraska, Discover Magazine, "Raising the Steaks: How One City in the Netherlands Wants to Feed the World," 13 Mar. 2019 Governors in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan declared emergencies as the worst of the cold threatened on Wednesday. Blake Nicholson, The Seattle Times, "Midwest cities scramble to keep homeless from dangerous cold," 30 Jan. 2019 Jack Frost has officially arrived in much of the country, bringing with him the type of cold that chills bones, chatters teeth, and saps moisture from otherwise well-tended skin. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The 10 Best Moisturizers to Save Dry Winter Skin," 15 Jan. 2019 Off the slopes, the new Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton is a way to get out of the cold. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 19 Best Places to Travel in 2019," 10 Jan. 2019 The ceiling at the newly remodeled and rebranded ice rink called the L.A. Kings Ice at Pickwick Gardens has brand-new insulation that keeps the cold in and the heat out.(Raul Roa/Burbank Leader) There’s a noticeable pep in Ron Stavert’s step lately. Anthony Clark Carpio, Burbank Leader, "Renovated Pickwick ice rink is ready for puck drop," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But her funniest, most off-the-wall appearance in the role was during a 2017 Christmas cold open. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Leslie Jones' most memorable Saturday Night Live sketches," 27 Aug. 2019 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.

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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

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Statistics for cold

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cold

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

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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
: 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 How to pronounce cold (audio) \
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 How to pronounce cold (audio) \

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 How to pronounce coldness (audio) \ 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)

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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

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