cool

1 of 4

adjective

1
: moderately cold : lacking in warmth
The plant grows best in cool climates.
2
a
: marked by steady dispassionate calmness and self-control
a cool and calculating businessperson
b
: lacking ardor or friendliness
a cool impersonal manner
c
of jazz : marked by restrained emotion and the frequent use of counterpoint
d
: free from tensions or violence
We used to fight, but we're cool now.
3
used as an intensive
a cool million dollars
4
: marked by deliberate effrontery or lack of due respect or discretion
a cool reply
5
: facilitating or suggesting relief from heat
a cool dress
6
a
of a color : producing an impression of being cool
specifically : of a hue in the range violet through blue to green
b
of a musical tone : relatively lacking in timbre or resonance (see resonance sense 2a)
7
informal
a
: very good : excellent
That was a really cool movie.
also : all right
Is getting together Friday night cool with you?
b
: fashionable, hip
… not happy with the new shoes … because they were not "cool." Celestine Sibley
coolish adjective
coolly adverb
or less commonly cooly
coolness noun

cool

2 of 4

verb

cooled; cooling; cools

intransitive verb

1
: to become cool : lose heat or warmth
placed the pie in the window to cool
sometimes used with off or down
2
: to lose ardor or passion
His anger cooled.

transitive verb

1
: to make cool : impart a feeling of coolness to
cooled the room with a fan
often used with off or down
A swim cooled us off a little.
2
a
: to moderate the heat, excitement, or force of : calm
cooled her growing anger
b
: to slow or lessen the growth or activity of
usually used with off or down
wants to cool off the economy without freezing it Newsweek

cool

3 of 4

noun

1
: a cool time, place, or situation
the cool of the evening
2
a
: absence of excitement or emotional involvement : detachment
… must surrender his fine cool and enter the closed crazy world of suicide … Wilfrid Sheed
b
: poise, composure
The player lost his cool and began yelling at the referee.
3

cool

4 of 4

adverb

: in a casual and nonchalant manner
play it cool
Phrases
cool it
: to calm down : go easy
The word went out to the young to cool it. W. M. Young
cool one's heels
: to wait or be kept waiting for a long time especially from or as if from disdain or discourtesy
Choose the Right Synonym for cool

cool, composed, collected, unruffled, imperturbable, nonchalant mean free from agitation or excitement.

cool may imply calmness, deliberateness, or dispassionateness.

kept a cool head

composed implies freedom from agitation as a result of self-discipline or a sedate disposition.

the composed pianist gave a flawless concert

collected implies a concentration of mind that eliminates distractions especially in moments of crisis.

the nurse stayed calm and collected

unruffled suggests apparent serenity and poise in the face of setbacks or in the midst of excitement.

harried but unruffled

imperturbable implies coolness or assurance even under severe provocation.

the speaker remained imperturbable despite the heckling

nonchalant stresses an easy coolness of manner or casualness that suggests indifference or unconcern.

a nonchalant driver

Example Sentences

Adjective The weather is cool today. The surface is cool to the touch. The plant grows best in cool climates. I'm feeling a little cool. We changed into some cooler clothes. She remained calm, cool, and collected. Verb The fan cools the engine. the cooling effect of the breeze Allow the cake to cool before slicing. the cooling of the ocean waters I took a break from the discussion to allow my anger to cool. His interest in her has cooled somewhat. Noun had a cool new hairstyle I envy you your cool. Adverb Here comes Mom. Act cool and she won't suspect a thing. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Another study last year reported signs that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation—a crucial ocean system that brings warm water up north and cool water down to the tropics—is heading toward collapse. Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2022 Provenza’s house in the San Fernando Valley is far from the cool kids comedy scene of the Eastside. Jake Kroeger, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2022 The floor's black and white diamond pattern grounds the cool greens and light pinks. Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 29 Nov. 2022 Featuring fresh verses from Lecrae, Tripp Lee, and Abe Parker, the song delivers a message similar to John 3:16 while invoking a cool vibe. Ysolt Usigan, Woman's Day, 29 Nov. 2022 Select mattresses are a cool $700 off during Leesa's Black Friday Sale, going strong all week long. SELF, 29 Nov. 2022 Keeps snacks and drinks cool for 16 hours temperature below 15℃. John Thompson, Men's Health, 18 Nov. 2022 This car cooler keeps foods and beverages cool on the road with up to 14 liters of storage capacity and 12-volt DC power. Talon Homer, Popular Mechanics, 18 Nov. 2022 Some technological solutions, such as workwear that keeps laborers cool, already exist. Time, 15 Nov. 2022
Verb
Instead, families set up kiddie pools between cars so their kids can cool down on hot weekends and summer days. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2022 Temperatures are expected to cool off a bit on Friday, and rain showers could still linger, although that’s not a certainty. Leigh Morgan, al, 21 Nov. 2022 Let the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheets. Stefene Russell, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Nov. 2022 Remove bread from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. From Henry Ford LiveWell. Bethany Thayer, Detroit Free Press, 12 Nov. 2022 Tucson residents can expect the weather to cool down a bit on Thursday and for the rest of the week with temperatures around the high 60s. Angela Cordoba Perez, The Arizona Republic, 7 Nov. 2022 But most top programs, SDSU included, seem to cool on him over the summer and the fall. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Nov. 2022 The cooling dog mat is made from plastic and designed to cool on contact, requiring zero assembly. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2022 It's expected to cool down to 68 degrees on Monday. David K. Li, NBC News, 17 Oct. 2022
Noun
Plus, a grid of air channels helps wick away moisture and keep the pillow cool all night. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 17 Nov. 2022 The funniest bits of Valley Heat are the commercials for local businesses, like a motorcycle shop that will heighten the handle bars of your bike for cool-factor. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 14 Nov. 2022 However, with the real estate market going into a cool down this year in Canada - including Muskoka - demand has levelled off to a degree, as the world slowly inches back to pre-pandemic levels. Josh Wilson, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 After the rain passes Monday afternoon, drier air will move in, bringing with it a significant cool down with area-wide highs on Tuesday in the upper 60s, said Andrew Quigley, a meteorologist with NWS New Braunfels. Shepard Price, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Oct. 2022 Monday will be the last day to feature temperatures near 70 degrees before a significant cool down settles in on Tuesday. Greg Porter, Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2022 Other pieces projected a similarly slouchy cool: salopettes with exaggerated hip pockets, a voluminous black cotton slip-on dress whose biblike construction revealed a wide swath of rib cage. Kin Woo, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2022 She was disturbed to discover the answer seemed to be: run slower, by incorporating specific cool-down and recovery workouts into training. Rachel Feintzeig, WSJ, 7 Nov. 2022 Clear skies and diminishing winds quicken the cool-down, with lows bottoming out in the mid-30s in our coldest areas to the low 40s downtown. David Streit, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2022
Adverb
As election day nears, getting his name and message in front of voters is key for the affable 56-year-old, who is pitching himself as the cool-headed antidote to years of Villanueva scandals and fear-mongering. Connor Sheetsstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2022 Remove bowl from pot and let chocolate mixture cool slightly. Adina Steiman, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2022 My college friends had cool-sounding jobs at The Paris Review and Paper magazine. Annie Karni, Vogue, 13 Oct. 2022 The worst part, though, is that there’s no real way to have a cool-looking character in Path of Exile without forking over cash. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, 2 Sep. 2022 Thursday is the premiere date of a cool-sounding Cold War thriller from Britain. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 16 May 2022 It’s not just a cool-sounding name drummed up by marketers around a whiteboard. Sean Evans, Robb Report, 26 Jan. 2022 The crowd’s size and cooperative attitude in keeping itself cool seemed a throwback to the biggest, best rock-outs of the ‘60s. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Sep. 2022 As would putting a cool-colored foundation on Claire Danes’s fair but warm-toned skin. Laura Scholz, SELF, 2 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cool.' 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 col, going back to Old English cōl, going back to West Germanic *kōlu- (whence also Middle Dutch coele "moderately cold" and, from a variant *kōlja-, Old High German kuoli), lengthened-grade derivative from the base of *kalan- "to be cold" — more at cold entry 1

Verb

Middle English colen, going back to Old English cōlian, verbal derivative from Germanic *kōl- cool entry 1 (whence also Old Saxon colon "to become cool," Old High German kuolēn)

Noun

Middle English cole, derivative of col cool entry 1

Adverb

derivative of cool entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1968, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near cool

Cite this Entry

“Cool.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cool. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cool

1 of 3 adjective
1
: somewhat cold : lacking in warmth
2
: not letting in or keeping in heat
cool clothes
3
: marked by steady calmness and self-control
4
: not friendly or interested
was cool toward strangers
5
: producing an impression of being cool
blue is a cool color
6
slang
a
: very good : excellent
coolish adjective
coolly
ˈkül-(l)ē
adverb
coolness noun

cool

2 of 3 verb
1
: to make or become cool
2
: to make or become less excited : calm
allow tempers to cool

cool

3 of 3 noun
: a cool time or place
the cool of the night

Legal Definition

cool

intransitive verb
: to lose passion : become calm
sometimes used with off or down
the time elapsing…is such that a reasonable man thus provoked would have cooled W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.

More from Merriam-Webster on cool

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