\ 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



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



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

Other Words from cold


coldish \ ˈkōld-​ish How to pronounce cold (audio) \ adjective
coldly \ ˈkōl(d)-​lē How to pronounce cold (audio) \ adverb
coldness \ ˈkōl(d)-​nəs How to pronounce cold (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Chen, in his late 50s, said a new landlord took over the building a few years ago and shut off the air conditioning, denying him the cold air that used to flow out the three vents above the chairs in the salon. Kate Selig,, 23 July 2022 The storms are expected to form as cold air to the north collides with warm, moist air to the south. Joe Taschler, Journal Sentinel, 22 July 2022 Chinese evergreen tolerates low indoor light, and prefers its soil to be lightly moist at all times, but despises cold air. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 21 July 2022 In warm months, air-source heat pumps suck out hot air from a room and blow it over a coil and cycle it through a refrigerant so cold air comes back inside. Pranshu Verma, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 The air conditioner in the cube continued working, exuding cold air. Vladimir Sorokin, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 Unstable air means there is warm, wet air near the surface and dry, cold air just above it. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 16 July 2022 These models also showed an intense zone of low pressure and cold air at high altitudes passing over the sea, contrasting sharply with abnormally warm sea surface temperatures. Jason Samenow, Anchorage Daily News, 12 July 2022 Cooling techniques that cover a large part of the body—ice baths or exposure to cold air—are better than strategies like iced wristbands. Marty Munson, Men's Health, 11 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That would leave the other conferences out in the cold. Creg Stephenson |, al, 20 July 2022 After an initial warm welcome, some crypto firms in Singapore are starting to feel left out in the cold. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 16 July 2022 There was that 81 in the 2002 British Open in the raging wind and bitter cold of Muirfield that ended his hopes for a Grand Slam. CBS News, 21 May 2022 To fight the bitter cold, Brown taught the other women to row and shared her sable coat. People Staff,, 15 Apr. 2022 Biden was 250 miles away, visiting Ukrainian refugees in bitter cold at Poland's national stadium. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 27 Mar. 2022 This is the first winter Chance has spent unsheltered, and her boyfriend has taught her how to stay warm in the bitter cold by fortifying their tent, layering sleeping bags and making sure to stock up on hand sanitizer and propane as heat sources. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Feb. 2022 The contrast between the warm shuttle bus, the bitter cold, the toasty indoor cinemas and then stepping back out into the snow again. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Feb. 2022 My jugo verde, a reminder of Mexico City, helps fight a cold or a hangover and contributes to my general well-being. Los Angeles Times, 30 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Victims reported being cold-called by representatives with Delaware phone numbers wielding British accents and fake names. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 20 June 2022 Opulent Radiance offers handmade natural skin care products including body scrubs, body oils, cold-pressed soaps, body butters and more. Brandon Drenon, The Indianapolis Star, 13 July 2022 Perhaps, as several experts have posited since the pandemic’s early days, SARS-CoV-2 will just become the fifth cold-causing coronavirus. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 27 May 2022 This body wash is formulated with sea salt and cold-pressed orange oil, providing nutrients to the skin and improving its ability to absorb moisture. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 May 2022 The juvenile turtle is one of 29 turtles that rescuers discovered stranded and cold-stunned in Cape Cope, Massachusetts, last November. Kelli Bender,, 12 Apr. 2022 Saturday Night Live returned to 13th century England in the May 7 cold open to tackle the Supreme Court document leak signaling Roe v. Wade's reversal. Jessica Wang,, 8 May 2022 As parents, artists, and also an athlete/pharmacist combo, the Andrews’ collaborated with a food scientist to encourage a balanced lifestyle through the fast, fresh and efficient nutrition provided in cold-pressed juice. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 8 Feb. 2022 Brazil could prove more complicated: The Biden administration has so far largely cold-shouldered President Bolsonaro, seeing him as a populist soulmate of former President Donald Trump. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cold


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


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


1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cold


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"


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)


derivative of cold entry 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cold



cold agglutination

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Statistics for cold

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cold


\ 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



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.


\ 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 cold (audio) \ 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on cold

Nglish: Translation of cold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cold for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cold


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