\ˈfrȯst \

Definition of frost 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the process of freezing

b : a covering of minute ice crystals on a cold surface also : ice particles formed from a gas

c : the temperature that causes freezing

2a : coldness of deportment or temperament : an indifferent, reserved, or unfriendly manner

b : failure the play was … a most dreadful frost— Arnold Bennett


frosted; frosting; frosts

Definition of frost (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to cover with or as if with frost especially : to put icing on (cake)

b : to produce a fine-grained slightly roughened surface on (such as metal or glass)

2 : to injure or kill (plants) by frost

3 : to make angry or irritated that really frosts me


biographical name
\ˈfrȯst \

Definition of Frost (Entry 3 of 3)

Robert Lee 1874–1963 American poet

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Other Words from frost

Biographical name

Frostian \ˈfrȯ-stē-ən, ˈfrȯs-chən \ adjective

Examples of frost in a Sentence


The grass was covered with frost. Frost formed on the window. These plants should bloom until the first frost of the season. We had an early frost.


The cold had frosted the windows. I have to frost the birthday cake.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Calhoun County peach orchards sit beneath limestone ridges between the two great rivers that protect against frost. John Kass,, "Who knew peaches could be so political?," 12 July 2018 Only when there’s heavy frost or snow is hay provided for them. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: German wranglers corral wild stallions," 27 May 2018 Obtaining permits from planning boards and battling frost while keeping workers safe and well are all part of a vineyard manager’s job—in addition to the quotidian but crucial challenge of growing and harvesting grapes that are healthy and ripe. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Where Napa’s Best Wines Are Really Made," 15 Mar. 2018 Trees in the Northern Hemisphere leaf out in the spring as frost recedes. Caterpillars hatch to gorge on leaves. New York Times, "5 Plants and Animals Utterly Confused by Climate Change," 4 Apr. 2018 Trees in the Northern Hemisphere leaf out in the spring as frost recedes. Caterpillars hatch to gorge on leaves. Author: Livia Albeck Ripka, Brad Plumer, Anchorage Daily News, "5 plants and animals utterly confused by climate change," 10 Apr. 2018 For all the hugeness of everything, Fox can be an intimately sharp observer of place, noting, for instance, that the northern cold makes light shine upward through the airborne frost and reduces the landscape to a charcoal sketch. Peter Lewis, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Northland' is an entertaining trip along America's 4,000-mile northern border," 3 July 2018 Unsheltered Seattleites are more exposed to Seattle’s infamous rain tantrums, which flood tents and soak blankets and belongings, subjecting the unsheltered to a brutal frost when the temperature drops. Dae Shik Kim Hawkins, The Atlantic, "An App for Ejecting the Homeless," 28 June 2018 Gary McManus, Oklahoma’s state climatologist, said the low temperature recorded at a station at Alva on April 17 was 33 degrees — with frost in the area. Washington Post, "After brief relief, forecasts indicate drought will continue," 23 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The buttercream will serve as a glue to hold the cake while frosting. Nik Sharma,, "A Brown Kitchen: Mango layer cake for a fresh summer treat," 11 July 2018 Selena eating frosting from the blade of a butcher’s knife? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "You Can Thank Selena Gomez's New Short Horror Film for Your Next Nightmare," 22 June 2018 Discussion about normalizing relations would be frosting on the cake. Joshua Tucker, Washington Post, "Will it be ‘happy talk’ — or will Trump and Putin focus on arms control and other critical issues?," 13 July 2018 The cake is chilled, then frosted with a heavy whipped cloud of barely sweet Swiss buttercream. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "What Statement Should Your Wedding Cake Make?," 17 May 2018 The North Shore is forecast to see slightly lower temperatures and more frosting compared with New Orleans. Jennifer Larino,, "New Orleans will get another shot of 'polar air' this weekend. Here's how cold it will get.," 11 Jan. 2018 Wearing thick rubber gloves, the student squeezed a dollop of pale-orange cream into the center of the square and delicately spread it to the edges, as if frosting a cake. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "The Neuroscience of Pain," 9 May 2016 The Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake is made with layers of Cinnabon cinnamon cheesecake and vanilla crunch cake topped with cream cheese frosting and caramel. Caroline Judelson, Fox News, "Celebrate National Cheesecake Day with The Cheesecake Factory's decadent new flavors," 28 June 2018 Cream cheese frosting is the only frosting for carrot cake, full stop. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appetit, "This Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Made BA Staffers Pretty Much Lose Our Minds," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frost.' 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 frost


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


1635, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for frost


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German frost — more at freeze

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Statistics for frost

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frost

The first known use of frost was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for frost



English Language Learners Definition of frost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thin layer of ice that forms on the ground, on grass, etc., when the air becomes cold

: the occurrence of weather that is cold enough to cause water to freeze and frost to form



English Language Learners Definition of frost (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover (something) with frost

: to become covered with frost

: to cover (something, such as a cake) with frosting (sense 1)


\ˈfrȯst \

Kids Definition of frost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a covering of tiny ice crystals on a cold surface formed from the water vapor in the air

2 : temperature cold enough to cause freezing


frosted; frosting

Kids Definition of frost (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cover with frosting frost a cake

2 : to cover or become covered with frost

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Comments on frost

What made you want to look up frost? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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