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

The sheer number of notes in each score necessitated a drive that could be selfish, even cold. Douglas Murray, National Review, "Michael Tippett’s ‘Timeless Music in Time’," 11 July 2019 So how can Colorado be so cold while the earth is roasting as a whole? Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "It’s been a cold 2019 in Colorado. Climate change is still happening.," 11 July 2019 Add an ice-cold Piton beer to your meal for a true Lucian foodie experience. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "Live It Up: Get On Badder Than Bad at St. Lucia Carnival 2019," 9 July 2019 Areas that are now colder could become hospitable to more trees. Stephanie Demarco, latimes.com, "Trees could reduce carbon in the atmosphere to levels not seen in nearly 100 years," 4 July 2019 At nearly 1 billion miles from the sun, its world is bitterly cold; temperatures average minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit on a mild day. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "NASA plans to send a robot to Saturn’s moon Titan," 27 June 2019 This is particularly challenging, given the extremely cold temperatures on the surface and the immense pressure exerted on the salty ocean below the moon’s icy crust. Shannon Stirone, Scientific American, "New NASA Mission Will Fly Titan’s Frigid Skies to Search for Life’s Beginnings," 27 June 2019 Although the cold, hard floor of American Adventure is always tempting, lately I’ve been drawn to a little spot in Morocco, the first room on the left when entering the cul-de-sac. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando’s theme parks and their 7 hottest cool spots," 24 June 2019 Freeze until the meat is very cold and beginning to firm up at the edges, about 20 minutes. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: The secret to a perfect burger," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

People slept on the ground, froze in the cold, sweated in the heat, didn’t have enough to eat, couldn’t keep clean, and became infested with disease. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The “concentration camp” language debate is the wrong fight," 13 July 2019 Statistically, though, those who took 10 milligrams of RTB101 daily had 31 percent fewer respiratory infections — including colds, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Can a single pill keep you healthy to 100?," 10 July 2019 They are designed to live outdoors, so extreme cold, heat or even rain won't hurt them. Dallas News, "Gadget roundup: Speakers that can live outdoors and more," 4 July 2019 Santa’s warm workshop is nothing like the cold, often-dark Arctic where reindeer really live. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "How reindeer evolved to survive freezing Arctic winters," 20 June 2019 Speaking of Rose…he hit a cold, hard shank from the bunker Saturday at No. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "2019 U.S. Open Parting Thoughts: Woodland's Gutsy Win, Tiger's Showing and More," 17 June 2019 Bear bile, however, is also marketed as a cure for cancer, colds, hangovers, and more, though there is no scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness for these ailments. National Geographic, "Bear bile, explained," 12 June 2019 Fingers crossed this helps kick the cold, or at least shorten it. refinery29.com, "I Live In Washington, D.C., Make $95,000 A Year & Spent $275.41 On My Wellness Routine This Week," 10 June 2019 Far above sea level, people face intense cold, aridity and ultraviolet rays. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "The World Is Our Niche," 3 June 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

19 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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