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

Native to China and the European coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, peonies need a snap of cold to do their best and are hardy down to Zone 3. oregonlive.com, "How to grow beautiful peonies in Oregon," 2 July 2019 Nanking cherry can take any amount of cold and heat, and demands no attention to pests or pruning. Washington Post, "There are many types of sweet or tart cherries you can grow," 2 July 2019 Job markets today can go from hot to cold overnight, and government agencies calling the shots on training rules can’t be flexible enough to accommodate dynamic change. Dallas Morning News, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Trump plan to expand apprenticeships is timely, intriguing," 30 June 2019 NGOs such as Global Witness and Transparency International have long highlighted shells’ pernicious role, picking up support from government investigators sick of trails going cold. The Economist, "The war on money-launderers’ vehicle of choice intensifies," 29 June 2019 The cold slows down ripening but doesn’t stop it altogether. Becca Miller, Good Housekeeping, "How to Ripen Peaches for Perfect Summer Fruit Every Time," 28 June 2019 In these sections, then, the Kamasutra might well have been inspired by cold, calculating Chanakya and his utterly pragmatic Arthashastra. Manu S Pillai, Quartz India, "When a British official dodged Victorian prudery to publish the Kamasutra in English," 27 June 2019 As the atmosphere gets colder, the air begins to cool. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "Woodbury Fire grows to more than 100K acres; containment still at 25 percent," 24 June 2019 In the study, physician Hans Seyle — later called the father of stress — subjected rats to cold, drugs, excessive exercise and other assaults. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

QuadrigaCX’s site went down early this year, leaving customers out in the cold. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Canadian crypto exchange owner allegedly funneled money into secret accounts," 24 June 2019 James Robertson, like Smith, didn't have a car, and would walk for hours in the cold to reach work after bus lines failed him. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "West Bloomfield school crowdfunds car for custodian who walks 9 miles to work," 19 June 2019 But because the frigid Antarctic waters hold more dissolved oxygen than warmer water does, and because the ancestors of icefish probably already had some adaptations to help them prosper in the cold, the fish survived. Quanta Magazine, "Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood," 22 Apr. 2019 But don’t leave remote workers out in the cold on the information that pops up in these impromptu talks. Jenna Schnuer, Fortune, "Turn Remote Worker Pains Into Possibilities With a Pairing of Tech and Talk," 15 June 2019 In a country used to the cold, there was zero chill left in the entire nation. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, "The Best Fan Reactions To The Raptors' Win," 14 June 2019 The four climbers are suffering from exposure to the cold, the National Park Service said. Michelle Lou, CNN, "Four hikers who were stranded near the Mount Rainier summit have been rescued," 6 June 2019 There were other sightings too, but this one warmed my cold, wintery heart. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, Week of March 8," 8 Mar. 2019 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

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

5 Jul 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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