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

Ensure extra crispy skin in this super easy 30 minute dinner by starting the chicken skin side down in a cold pan. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Crispy Mustard Chicken with Spring Potato Salad," 29 Apr. 2019 The mug is made of kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel and is double-walled to create vacuum insulation, which will keep your hands warm and your cold beer cold. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The 24-Oz Yeti Rambler Was Made for Drinking a Big Beer Around the Campfire," 8 Apr. 2019 The lead grew to 12 before the Huskies went cold from the field and didn’t score for the final 5:15 of the half. Doug Feinberg, The Seattle Times, "Dangerfield helps UConn beat UCLA 69-61 in Sweet 16," 29 Mar. 2019 They've been linked to reducing the duration of a cold and may decrease your likelihood of getting sick. Good Housekeeping, "Exactly What to Eat to Boost Your Immune System, According to a Registered Dietitian," 30 Jan. 2019 This tightness then pushes out the nipple, and hence, cold weather gives you hard nipples. Lily Puckett, Teen Vogue, "Why Nipples Get Hard From Cold Weather," 19 Apr. 2019 And the cold weather doesn't slow them down, either. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Everything to Know About 'Little People, Big World' Star Amy Roloff's Boyfriend Chris Marek," 2 Apr. 2019 Although a large portion of the country is experiencing a brutally cold winter, things are heating up down in Waco, Texas—all thanks to Chip Gaines. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Chip Gaines Posted a Shirtless Selfie and Everyone Went Wild," 2 Mar. 2019 The numbers have overwhelmed Kurdish-run camps in northeastern Syria, where humanitarian conditions are already dire amid a cold winter and meager resources. Zeina Karam, The Seattle Times, "Fierce battles near final IS foothold in eastern Syria," 12 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Old Farmer's Almanac just announced its 2019 spring forecast, and the predictions call for a cold, dry season for a majority of the country. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Old Farmer's Almanac Predicts a Cold, Rainless Spring for Most of the Country," 5 Mar. 2019 The birth of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first child is still many cold, winter months away, but that hasn't stopped speculation on both sides of the pond about the logistics of Baby Sussex's arrival this spring. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "How Meghan Markle's Birth Plan Might Differ From Kate Middleton's and Princess Diana's," 30 Nov. 2018 Many cause sore throats, colds, fever, and slightly more serious illnesses like bronchitis. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "A look at the virus behind seven deaths at a New Jersey facility," 25 Oct. 2018 As a cold, early Fall rain fell outside, seamstresses hand-stitched fresh rosebuds into tulle veils, and Odile Gilbert wove fresh roses into models’ hair for Rodarte’s Spring 2019 show. Celia Ellenberg, Vogue, "Rodarte's Striking Flower Hair Sculptures Bring the Wow at New York Fashion Week," 10 Sep. 2018 Unsworth cautioned them that flooding from Northern Thailand’s monsoon season can last into winter, raising the possibility that the kids and their guardians would be perched on the cold, dripping slope for five months. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Plentiful cold, clean water, when blended with German passion and know-how, made Milwaukee a brewing capital, with 26 breweries here by 1856. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee loves its rivers and Lake Michigan — and keeps abusing them, too," 3 July 2018 In the cold, when the bees were clustered and the comb was hard to inspect visually, Mack used his nose. New York Times, "With a Sniff and a Signal, These Dogs Hunt Down Threats to Bees," 3 July 2018 But washing your hands is important outside of the kitchen too; the CDC reports that proper handwashing can reduce respiratory illnesses, like colds, by 16-21%. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "U.S. Department of Agriculture Study Reveals Most People Wash Hands Incorrectly," 1 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.

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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

24 May 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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