cold

1 of 3

adjective

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
5
a
: 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.
coldish adjective
coldly adverb
coldness noun

cold

2 of 3

noun

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.

cold

3 of 3

adverb

1
: with utter finality : absolutely, completely
turned down cold
also : abruptly
stopped them cold
2
a
: 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
Phrases
in cold blood
: with premeditation : deliberately
was killed in cold blood
out in the cold
: deprived of benefits given others
the plan benefits management but leaves labor out in the cold

Example Sentences

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
The Dawson's Creek alum was spotted out and about in NYC's Soho neighborhood this week, wearing two casual looks that gave perfect examples for choosing outerwear and layers for the cold weather. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Nov. 2022 Indeed, the Tigers celebrated their 21 seniors with a 45-14 rout of New Mexico State last Saturday in a cold-weather night game that began with a temperature of 26 degrees at kickoff. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, 23 Nov. 2022 Charlie Stewart, a searcher with Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue, told WGME that Sotelo may not have been properly attired for the cold weather. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 23 Nov. 2022 Energy supply cuts caused by Russia’s heavy bombardment of the country’s infrastructure are combining with freezing cold winter weather to create a deadly cocktail, the World Health Organization has warned. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 22 Nov. 2022 With the cold weather continuing up there through Thanksgiving, some of the more rural spots will have a white holiday. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Nov. 2022 Still, with cold weather about to blanket the continent, any disruption could affect Europe’s supply of the fuel and push up gas prices, which have eased in recent weeks. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2022 Trench coats are perennially stylish so why not double down with one that is cold weather suitable? Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 21 Nov. 2022 There are also plenty of cozy gifts that are perfect for cold weather. Isabel Garcia, Peoplemag, 19 Nov. 2022
Noun
The biggest missile barrages of the war have lately targeted Kyiv and other cities, plunging millions into cold and darkness. Laura Kingstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2022 Russia has been pounding Ukraine’s power grid and other infrastructure from the air, causing widespread blackouts and leaving millions of Ukrainians without heat, power or water as frigid cold and snow blankets the capital, Kyiv, and other cities. John Leicester And Hanna Arhirova, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Nov. 2022 Despite the cold and the foreign city, the football fans made themselves at home. Emma Stein, Detroit Free Press, 21 Nov. 2022 The 30-degree blustery weather with whipping winds brought bitter cold to more than 10 youth members and leaders outside St. Mary of the Falls Church seeking donations for the homeless. cleveland, 20 Nov. 2022 But a little over a month ago, Russia began targeting Ukraine’s electricity grid in a bid to crush the country’s resolve by plunging it into cold and darkness. Byyvonne Lau, Fortune, 19 Nov. 2022 Boston took control in the first quarter against the cold-shooting Hawks, whose occasional spurts were quickly snuffed out by the Celtics' stifling defense. Paul Newberry, ajc, 17 Nov. 2022 Biking across Antarctica presented an altogether different technological challenge because of the deep snow and extreme cold. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 17 Nov. 2022 During a recent cryotherapy appointment, practitioners worried about the extreme cold causing the metal to burn her skin. Rachel Wolfe, WSJ, 14 Nov. 2022
Adverb
Think smoothies, cider donuts, cardamom lattes, croissant sandwiches, cold-pressed juice, and local goods for stocking-stuffers. Lauren Daley, BostonGlobe.com, 23 Nov. 2022 Virgin coconut oil is unrefined and cold-pressed, like extra-virgin olive oil, and isn’t hydrogenated. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 11 Nov. 2022 There is also an option to subscribe to the cold-pressed pouch delivery service. Stefani Sassos, M.s., R.d.n., C.s.o., C.d.n., Good Housekeeping, 8 Nov. 2022 Both bottles of olive oil are made from high-quality, early-harvest Koroneiki olives grown in southern Greece and then cold-pressed in small batches. Belle Duchene, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Nov. 2022 Meanwhile, Act+Acre’s hair mask and cold-pressed hair cleanse is both luxurious and restorative. Laura Jackson, Vogue, 13 Oct. 2022 That said, there are many options — refined, unrefined, virgin, extra-virgin, cold-pressed – so shopping for the right jar can be a little confusing. Nicole Fisher, Good Housekeeping, 3 Oct. 2022 Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Cleanser sounds like a cold-pressed juice, smells like apples, and looks like dish detergent, but don't be fooled — this face wash is something worth talking about and clearing off some counter space for. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, 26 Sep. 2022 Besides lime, the second variety adds cold-pressed jalapeño to the mix. Robin Soslow, Chron, 22 Aug. 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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near cold

Cite this Entry

“Cold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cold. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cold 1 of 2

adjective

1
: having a low temperature or one much below normal
a cold day
a cold drink
2
: lacking warmth of feeling : unfriendly
a cold stare
3
: suffering or uncomfortable from lack of warmth
they feel cold
4
a
: marked by the loss of normal body heat
cold hands
b
: giving the appearance of being dead : unconscious
passed out cold
in cold blood
: with planning beforehand : deliberately
was killed in cold blood
coldly adverb
coldness noun

cold

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: a condition of low temperature
b
: cold weather
2
: bodily sensation produced by loss or lack of heat : chill
3
: a bodily disorder popularly associated with chilling
especially : common cold

Medical Definition

cold 1 of 3

adjective

1
a
: 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
coldness noun

cold

2 of 3

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cold

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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