gel·​id | \ ˈje-ləd How to pronounce gelid (audio) \

Definition of gelid

: extremely cold : icy gelid water a man of gelid reserveNew Yorker

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gelid

gelidity \ jə-​ˈli-​də-​tē How to pronounce gelid (audio) , je-​ \ noun
gelidly \ ˈje-​ləd-​lē How to pronounce gelid (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Gelid first appeared in English late in the 16th century, coming to our language from Latin gelidus, which ultimately derives from the noun gelu, meaning "frost" or "cold." (Our noun gelatin, which can refer to an edible jelly that undergoes a cooling process as part of its formation, comes from a related Latin word: gelare, meaning "to freeze.") Gelid is used in English to describe anything of extremely cold temperature (as in "the gelid waters of the Arctic Ocean"), but the word can also be used figuratively to describe a person with a cold demeanor (as in "the criminal's gelid stare").

Examples of gelid in a Sentence

the Titanic passengers could not long survive the gelid waters of the North Atlantic the judge listened with the gelid detachment of someone who had heard it all before
Recent Examples on the Web Settings range globally without fanfare, as do Krauss’s gelid portraits of modern arrangements. Washington Post, "Reading Nicole Krauss’s ‘To Be a Man’ feels like talking all night with a brilliant friend," 5 Nov. 2020 Admittedly, former commercials director Niccol is terrific at composing looks; however, an assemblage of glossy, gelid sequences does not necessarily add up to a satisfying cohesive film. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Gattaca': THR's 1997 Review," 24 Oct. 2019 Ungainly in looks, but a natural for work — each hoof a snowshoe, with hollow fur for warmth and to buoy them across gelid Arctic rivers. Christopher Solomon, New York Times, "Exploring a Timeless Wilderness, Before the Drilling Begins," 13 Sep. 2019 But other ailments that are either directly or tangentially related to the gelid weather have multiplied. John Benson,, "Lakewood City Council makes good with schools regarding tax financing agreement," 4 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gelid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gelid

1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gelid

Latin gelidus, from gelu frost, cold — more at cold

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gelid

Listen to Our Podcast about gelid

Statistics for gelid

Cite this Entry

“Gelid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on gelid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gelid

Comments on gelid

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!