re·​frig·​er·​ate | \ ri-ˈfri-jə-ˌrāt How to pronounce refrigerate (audio) \
refrigerated; refrigerating

Definition of refrigerate

transitive verb

: to make or keep cold or cool specifically : to freeze or chill for preservation foods that should be refrigerated

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Other Words from refrigerate

refrigeration \ ri-​ˌfri-​jə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce refrigerate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for refrigerate



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Examples of refrigerate in a Sentence

Refrigerate the mixture for an hour before serving. refrigerate the cake after you frost it so that the frosting doesn't melt
Recent Examples on the Web Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours, before serving. Washington Post, 14 July 2021 Allow the pears to cool, then refrigerate until cold. Beth Segal, cleveland, 28 May 2021 Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature then refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm — at least 4 hours or preferably overnight — before slicing. Jill O’connor, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 May 2021 Wrap tightly in plastic again and freeze for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for 1 hour. The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Apr. 2021 Mom can even refrigerate the opalite stone for a cooling effect on hot summer nights. Cheyann Neades, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Apr. 2021 Press piece of plastic wrap against surface of batter, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Kristina Kurek, Good Housekeeping, 19 Feb. 2021 Add cauliflower, eggs and dill, and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 5 days before serving. Star Tribune, 2 July 2021 Pour mixture over shredded cabbage; toss and refrigerate. Washington Post, 23 June 2021

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

1534, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for refrigerate

Latin refrigeratus, past participle of refrigerare, from re- + frigerare to cool, from frigor-, frigus cold — more at frigid

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Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best refrigerators of 2021.

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Time Traveler for refrigerate

Time Traveler

The first known use of refrigerate was in 1534

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Statistics for refrigerate

Last Updated

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refrigerate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for refrigerate



English Language Learners Definition of refrigerate

: to put or keep (something, such as food) in a refrigerator in order to make it cold or keep it fresh


re·​frig·​er·​ate | \ ri-ˈfri-jə-ˌrāt How to pronounce refrigerate (audio) \
refrigerated; refrigerating

Kids Definition of refrigerate

: to make or keep cold or cool especially by placing in a refrigerator

More from Merriam-Webster on refrigerate

Nglish: Translation of refrigerate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refrigerate for Arabic Speakers


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