thaw

verb
\ ˈthȯ How to pronounce thaw (audio) \
thawed; thawing; thaws

Definition of thaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to go from a frozen to a liquid state : melt
b : to become free of the effect (such as stiffness, numbness, or hardness) of cold as a result of exposure to warmth
2 : to be warm enough to melt ice and snow used with it in reference to the weather
3 : to abandon aloofness, reserve, or hostility : unbend
4 : to become mobile, active, or susceptible to change

transitive verb

: to cause to thaw

thaw

noun

Definition of thaw (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action, fact, or process of thawing
2 : a period of weather warm enough to thaw ice the January thaw
3 : the action or process of becoming less aloof, less hostile, or more genial a thaw in international relations

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Synonyms & Antonyms for thaw

Synonyms: Verb

deliquesce, flux, fuse, liquefy (also liquify), melt, run

Antonyms: Verb

harden, set, solidify

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Examples of thaw in a Sentence

Verb

Plant the seeds in early spring as soon as the ground thaws. The sun will soon thaw the snow and ice. The weather is beginning to thaw. Our cold fingers and toes eventually thawed. She held the coffee cup tightly, trying to thaw her frozen fingers.

Noun

flooding from the spring thaw a thaw in international relations
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The process of thawing and refreezing can disrupt the bacteria and mold that naturally grow in aging food, allowing them to multiply when the temperature rises enough. Christina Oehler, Woman's Day, "This Is How Long Frozen Meat Is Good For," 22 Jan. 2019 Container Materials Each type of container has merits and disadvantages: Clay or terracotta containers are attractive but breakable and easily damaged by freezing and thawing. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 2018 In cold weather cities, freezing and thawing is the nemesis. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "On the prowl with S.A.’s pothole patrol," 23 May 2018 Warmer summers have also meant that diseases, long locked in the Arctic permafrost, may thaw and spread among herds, though scientists aren’t completely sure how much of an impact this is having. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The Arctic has lost 2.6 million reindeer over the past 20 years," 11 Dec. 2018 More than 85 percent of these women have not yet attempted to thaw those eggs and use them. Horacio Salinas, Allure, "The Rise of Egg Freezing as a Fertility Choice," 15 Oct. 2018 As the climate warms, frozen slopes will thaw and landslides and avalanches may become a greater hazard to deep-sea fiber, says Hermann Fritz, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Rob Goodier, Popular Mechanics, "How Climate Change Could Break the Internet," 19 July 2018 But apart from wondering whether anything living ever made Mars its home, figuring out how the Red Planet got warm enough to thaw all that water has turned out to be no small thing. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The secret to Mars’ past warmth could be beneath Curiosity’s wheels," 9 Aug. 2018 The sperm flew to the space station cryogenically frozen and needed to be thawed. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why There Are Sperm Swimming Around at the Space Station," 16 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Still, there remains a genuine fear — perhaps slightly allayed now following Washington and Pyongyang’s diplomatic thaw — that the leaders might escalate their public squabble into a nuclear conflict. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 Though technically perennials, mums are often grown as annuals owing to shallow root systems inclined to heave right out of the ground during winter's freeze-thaw cycles. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 9 Aug. 2018 The solid permafrost that sits beneath many roads, buildings and pipelines is starting to thaw, destabilizing the infrastructure above. Author: Brad Plumer, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Impossible to ignore’: Why Alaska is crafting a plan to fight climate change," 16 May 2018 In addition to providing relief to its shareholders, a deal for Arconic—to be funded with a huge helping of high-yield debt—would be another sign of a thaw in the credit markets. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Apollo Nears Deal to Buy Arconic for More Than $10 Billion," 15 Jan. 2019 The visit by Somalia’s leader, at the invitation of longtime President Isaias Afwerki, follows a stunning diplomatic thaw between Eritrea and neighboring Ethiopia after more than two decades. Abdi Guled, The Seattle Times, "Eritrea and Somalia restore ties, want UN sanctions lifted," 30 July 2018 The solid permafrost that sits beneath many roads, buildings and pipelines is starting to thaw, destabilizing the infrastructure above. Author: Brad Plumer, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Impossible to ignore’: Why Alaska is crafting a plan to fight climate change," 16 May 2018 The solid permafrost that sits beneath many roads, buildings and pipelines is starting to thaw, destabilizing the infrastructure above. New York Times, "‘Impossible to Ignore’: Why Alaska Is Crafting a Plan to Fight Climate Change," 15 May 2018 And, since food thaws unevenly, bacteria begin to grow on the thawed portions even if other parts of the food still feel frozen solid. Jenna Flannigan, SELF, "8 Surprising Food Safety Mistakes You Might Be Making," 11 Jan. 2019

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

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for thaw

Verb

Middle English, from Old English thawian; akin to Old High German douwen to thaw, Greek tēkein to melt, Latin tabēre to waste away

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Statistics for thaw

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thaw

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

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More Definitions for thaw

thaw

verb

English Language Learners Definition of thaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to stop being frozen or to cause (something) to stop being frozen
of weather : to become warm enough that snow and ice melt
: to return to a normal temperature after being very cold

thaw

noun

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

: a period of weather that is warm enough to melt ice and snow
: a situation in which a relationship becomes more friendly and less angry

thaw

verb
\ ˈthȯ How to pronounce thaw (audio) \
thawed; thawing

Kids Definition of thaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to melt or cause to melt
2 : to grow less unfriendly or quiet in manner

thaw

noun

Kids Definition of thaw (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a period of weather warm enough to melt ice and snow
2 : the action, fact, or process of becoming less hostile or unfriendly

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More from Merriam-Webster on thaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thaw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thaw

Spanish Central: Translation of thaw

Nglish: Translation of thaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thaw for Arabic Speakers

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