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

b : cool sense 6a

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

In January 2017, Vladimir Putin chose to publicly partake in a cold-water plunge instead of watching Donald Trump’s inauguration—a ritual that the Kremlin’s press corps has documented and disseminated via the internet. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Artist Taryn Simon Invites You to Take a Cold Water Plunge Inside a Museum," 11 July 2018 Comfort mode actually seemed to have a bit of hesitation, especially when the engine was still cold. Scott Sturgis, Philly.com, "Driving the 2018 Volvo XC60," 5 July 2018 Of course caffeine dries out your skin, gives you headaches, and causes you immense guilt for choosing cold brew over cold water. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Does Coffee Dehydrate You? Nope, Says Science," 2 July 2018 As a result, the cold intermediate water has essentially vanished from the Barents Sea, turning the area into a basin dominated by Atlantic water. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Barents Sea seems to have crossed a climate tipping point," 26 June 2018 Divers could reach depths of only 164 feet in the lake's cold and dark waters. Fox News, "Indonesia finds suspected location of sunken ferry 1,607 feet below surface," 25 June 2018 Popular dishes include sashimi, signature maki such as the Bacon Bomb, sushi entrees such as Poke, South African cold-water lobster tail, filet mignon, and traditional maki such as the Knucklehead. Jessi Virtusio, Post-Tribune, "Kitaro Surf & Turf & Sushi brings modern Japanese cuisine to Munster," 20 June 2018 Ethel was born in a cold-water flat in the Ridgewood-Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York on February 21, 1915, the last of the four children of Eugene and Louise Abrecht. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 6/10," 10 June 2018 Still, the sighting in the Red Sea, an inlet of the Indian Ocean that is sandwiched between Africa and Asia, is unusual; blue whales typically spend the summer feeding in cold polar waters. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Huge Blue Whale Sighted in the Red Sea for the First Time," 2 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the fantasy series’ two heroes, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington, were left out in the cold. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 The former is comforting and cultural, the latter cold and commercial. Michelle Z. Donahue, WIRED, "The Swedish Designer Creating Edible Robots," 18 May 2018 The cold never bothered you anyway, but watching from the comfort of your home will be extra sweet. Samantha Brodsky, Good Housekeeping, "Disney Is Live-Streaming the Cinderella Castle Christmas Lighting Tonight," 9 Nov. 2017 As pharmacy chains await Amazon.com Inc.’s entry into the prescription-drug market, the online retail giant is already undercutting them for nonprescription medicine for aches, colds and allergies. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Amazon is already undercutting prices on over-the-counter pills," 6 July 2018 Now, imagine that same invigorating taste, but ice-cold and with a hint of sweetness. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "Sonic's Pickle Juice Slush Just Changed How We Feel About Pickles — & Slushies," 26 June 2018 Merck’s $1 billion business provides a range of products for muscle, joint and back pain, colds and headaches, according to the statement. Jeff Sutherland, Bloomberg.com, "P&G to Buy German Merck’s Consumer Unit for $4.2 Billion," 19 Apr. 2018 Unfortunately: Meanwhile, up in Massachusetts ...... more than 150 runners from the Charlotte area battled terrible conditions — pouring rain, bitter cold and a headwind pretty much the entire way — at the 122nd edition of the Boston Marathon. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "How'd they do? Here are Boston Marathon results for 150+ Charlotte-area runners. | Charlotte Observer," 16 Apr. 2018 Other options that might stunt tree development are severe cold and even insect infestation, but neither of those theories could explain the total lack of rings in Hartl’s samples. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Norwegian Trees Still Bear Evidence of a World War II German Battleship," 12 Apr. 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

13 Sep 2018

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

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

a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!