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 itNewsweek

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

Examples of cool in a Sentence

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
Rain chances slowly increase from southwest to northeast after 4 p.m. Clouds keep it cool, with highs in the upper 40s to near 50. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2024 Perched high above the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, an estate with extremely unique — and insanely cool — presence has landed on the market in Henderson, Nevada, for $18.5 million. Tj MacIas, Sacramento Bee, 12 Feb. 2024 Available in 15 stunning shades from Pacific Blue to White, this soft and smooth duvet cover keeps you cool all night long, making good sleep achievable even during a staycation. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 12 Feb. 2024 The 20-year-old did leave the action early thanks to his knock, though, and could be seen in the dugout with his ankle wrapped in ice and foot rested on a cool box. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Calm, cool, collected and possessing a nasty changeup. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2024 This is a recurring motif on Donda 2: Songs have a cool moment or two, but do not hold any shape. Matthew Strauss, Pitchfork, 10 Feb. 2024 Jones somehow managed to make playing an organ seem cool. Théoden Janes, Charlotte Observer, 9 Feb. 2024 All dog tooth violets flourish in cool damp climates and struggle in humid heat. Nadia Hassani, Better Homes & Gardens, 31 Jan. 2024
Verb
Next, maintain your peace by either heading to a yoga class or back to the Crane Hotel for a cooling treatment at Serenity Spa. Anna Haines, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Bamboo Duvet Cover Your bedroom has the potential to feel just as luxurious as a five-star hotel, starting with this cooling bamboo duvet that is now discounted by 20 percent. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 12 Feb. 2024 That shift could raise concerns for the Fed, because services inflation typically takes longer to cool. Christopher Rugaber, Quartz, 12 Feb. 2024 Inspectors observed improper cooling methods for the following foods on Tuesday: par cooked beef, shrimp, chicken, and a large metal container filled 8 inches deep with pre-fried rice. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 9 Feb. 2024 Work involves the servicing of air conditioning systems and units, refrigerators, water cooling systems and related equipment utilized in a wide variety of county facilities and buildings. Miami Herald Archives, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 Miller started guarding Bailey and was effective cooling him off. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Cool bananas, and mash: Let bananas cool completely, about 20 minutes. Pam Lolley, Southern Living, 7 Feb. 2024 Remove the paella from the heat (take extra caution to protect your hands with welding gloves as the pan will be scorching hot), and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes to cool. Cindy Dampier, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024
Noun
The picture became something of an aesthetic calling card, encapsulating his work’s goofy rigor and strange cool. Chris Wiley, The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2024 Trainers weighed in on how owners can help pets keep their cool. DogTV, a pay-TV service designed for dogs who are stuck at home alone, hopes to tap into a huge new audience of pandemic puppies — plus their owners. Ella Riley-Adams, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2024 But Chiefs fans weren't the only ones losing their cool around Swift on Sunday. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 29 Jan. 2024 Mitski reached for a classic sense of cool, and Tainy and NewJeans offered vivid visions of pop’s future. Rolling Stone, 28 Dec. 2023 And then there’s Jesus Christ himself, played with an air of near-silent cool by Nicholas Pinnock, only revealed to be the all-powerful man behind the robe later on in the film. Alex Ritman, Variety, 12 Jan. 2024 Jane Birkin, Actor, Musician, Style Icon, 76 Jane Birkin, the queen of effortless cool, was born in London and took first to the stage, and then to film: The actor appeared in the buff in Michelangelo Antonioni’s fashionable 1966 film, Blow-Up. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 6 Dec. 2023 Find it on Amazon These Sunglasses To Block The Shade Gift the classic cool of Ray-Ban with these Sunglasses that offer timeless style and top-notch UV protection. Poppy Morgan, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2023 Everything about Trancoso, which was once a sleepy fishing village, felt too good to be true, with just the right amount of bohemian cool mixed with the powerful presence of the natural world, in the form of the jungle that surrounds and weaves through town. Pilar Guzmán, Travel + Leisure, 14 Oct. 2023
Adverb
The morning will start off cool in the mid to high 60s in metro Atlanta. Caroline Silva, ajc, 9 Sep. 2023 The cooling blanket uses a cool-sensing fabric and cotton combination that can quickly absorb human body heat, keeping you cool and sweat-free in the process. Rachel Dube, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 June 2023 The Ford Bronco can scratch almost anyone's itch for a cool-looking SUV with mega off-road capability without sacrificing good paved-road behavior in the process. Car and Driver, 22 Feb. 2023 Some cool-looking shots. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 18 Jan. 2023 Asus Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) has unveiled its varied, eclectic, and very cool-looking lineup of new gaming laptops for 2021. Monica Chin, The Verge, 12 Jan. 2021 The Peloton Bike+ is a cool-looking machine with a matte black finish and red accents. Corey Gaskin, Ars Technica, 12 Feb. 2023 Today, the Sun had two relatively minor -- but quite cool-looking -- events. Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 24 Mar. 2012 But while the script (co-written by Eisener and John Davies) is weak, there is an endearingly scruffy vibe here, goosed by some cool-looking costumes and effects. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 20 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cool.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Feb. 2024.

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 cooledW. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.

More from Merriam-Webster on cool

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