chill

1 of 3

noun

1
a
: a sensation of cold accompanied by shivering (as due to illness)
He had caught a chill that night, and was now down with a fever. Wilkie Collins
usually plural
If you have a cough, fever and chills and are not breathing as easily as usual, you might have a cold or the flu. Linda SearingOver the next few days, my body followed up with a series of messages: you have a sore throat; you have a fever; you have the chills. John Herrman
b
: an intense shivery sensation : shiver, shudder
especially : one caused by a strong emotion (such as fear)
Do you like a good scare? The sort of story, or moment, that sends a chill down your spine and makes the hair on your arms stand up like porcupine quills? Katherine Scott Crawford
often plural
a song so beautiful it gives me chills … this is where [Stephen] King shines, creating those aforementioned creepy scenes that gave me the chills. Katherine Whitt
c
: a disagreeable sensation of coldness
When you venture outside on a cold day, chances are you feel the biggest chill in your fingers. Tamekia Reece
2
: a moderate but disagreeable degree of cold
a chill in the air
3
: a check to enthusiasm or warmth of feeling
And a chill fell over the service as mourners … carried a casket draped in white to the altar. Katherine Creag and Jennifer Millman

chill

2 of 3

adjective

sometimes chiller; sometimes chillest
1
a
: moderately cold
b
: cold, raw
2
: affected by cold
chill travelers
3
: distant, formal
a chill reception
4
: depressing, dispiriting
chill penury Thomas Gray
5
informal : having a laid-back style or easy demeanor
She looked just like Joey Potter … Really young and super chill. No one was paying any attention. It was a laid-back situation. Emma Pearse
We're very casual. I love how at City Hall people come in everything from wedding gowns to jeans. It's so mellow and chill, just how we like it. Erin Burnett
chillness noun

chill

3 of 3

verb

chilled; chilling; chills

intransitive verb

1
a
: to become cold
b
: to shiver or quake with or as if with cold
2
: to become taken with a chill
3

transitive verb

1
a
: to make cold or chilly
chilled by a cold wind
b
: to make cool especially without freezing
chill the wine
2
: to affect as if with cold : dispirit

Example Sentences

Noun There was a chill in the autumn air. He closed the windows to keep out the chill. Her symptoms include chills and a fever. He caught a chill that turned into a bad cold. The novel's final scene gave him the chills. Her words sent chills down my spine. Adjective The chill weather kept us indoors. were met with a chill gaze when they arrived home late from the party Verb Chill the dessert for one hour before serving it. Let the dessert chill for one hour before serving it. Here's a ghost story that will chill you. Her screams chilled me to the bone . a horrible sight that chilled my bones He thinks his parents are way too uptight and says they should just chill. I decided to stay home and chill. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The chill in Ivek was far deeper than the fire could touch. Louise Erdrich, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 On Sunday evening, the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team reported that teams were looking for Sotelo while the wind chill was negative 30 degrees. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Nov. 2022 Here, 20 shearling coats and jackets to wear now that the chill is upon us. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 21 Nov. 2022 The wind chill at the time of the high should be close to 30 degrees. Hartford Courant, 19 Nov. 2022 Winter’s chill is in the air, but the energetic rhythms and joyful beats of Son de Cuba should warm you right up. oregonlive, 16 Nov. 2022 But regardless, the first real chill is always a bummer for warm-weather lovers and a sign of hope for snow lovers. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2022 There’s a chill in the air and fall activities are in full swing. Anchorage Daily News, 22 Sep. 2022 On such a cold day — the wind chill was in the upper 40s — perhaps this was a warmup for what Scheffler can expect Sunday, typically the greatest theater of the majors, especially for those seeking their first major. Doug Ferguson, chicagotribune.com, 10 Apr. 2022
Adjective
The bourbon was bottled at 49.5 percent ABV and is non-chill filtered. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 10 Oct. 2022 This whisky was bottled at 59.2 percent ABV and is non-chill filtered with natural color, as is all the whisky at Bruichladdich. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 10 Oct. 2022 My body just up and decided that the former bane of its existence was suddenly totally chill. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 5 Oct. 2022 Let this chic cardigan do all the talking and signal your upcoming OOO holiday vacation days or keep it chill with an everyday pair of jeans. Daisy Maldonado, SELF, 30 Sep. 2022 The point here was to develop extra flavors using this process, furthered by the fact that the whiskey is non-chill filtered and bottled at 94 proof. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 23 Sep. 2022 Everybody was having a good time and that was chill. Daniela Avila, Peoplemag, 16 Sep. 2022 This expression is bottled at 51 percent ABV, and also non-chill filtered with no color added. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 14 Sep. 2022 Expect McDaniel to be chill during pre-game and the game. Chris Perkins, Sun Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2022
Verb
Serve immediately with chips, or cover and chill up to 1 hour. People Staff, Peoplemag, 27 Sep. 2022 Cover and chill at least 24 hours or up to 7 days, stirring occasionally. Colleen Weeden, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Aug. 2022 The danger is that disclosure of such information could chill communications between journalists and their sources. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2022 In a perhaps inadvertently telling gesture, the camera eases the suffering, flatlining patient out of the frame and creeps slowly toward Charles, whose inscrutable expression is meant to chill you to the bone. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2022 The first launch, scheduled for August 29, was scrubbed after the rocket’s four RS-25 engines were unable to chill down to a low-enough temperature in time—plus a liquid hydrogen leak was detected. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 25 Oct. 2022 Those kinds of doubts threaten to chill foreign direct investment in the United States, which rose by $506 billion to a cumulative $4.9 trillion last year. Saleha Mohsin, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Oct. 2022 Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour or chill up to 1 day. Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit, 23 Oct. 2022 To make, simply combine 1 oz each of Campari and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 10 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English chile chill, frost, from Old English ciele; akin to Old English ceald cold

First Known Use

Noun

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of chill was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near chill

Cite this Entry

“Chill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chill. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

chill 1 of 3

noun

1
: a feeling of cold accompanied by shivering
chills and fever
2
: a moderate but unpleasant amount of cold
there was a chill in the air

chill

2 of 3

adjective

1
: unpleasantly cold : raw
nights grew chill
2
: not friendly
a chill greeting
chillness noun

chill

3 of 3

verb

1
: to make or become cold or chilly
2
: to cool without freezing
chill the pudding for dessert
3
: to affect as if with cold
we were chilled by the ghost story
4
chiller noun

Medical Definition

chill 1 of 2

noun

1
: a sensation of cold accompanied by shivering
2
: a disagreeable sensation of coldness

chill

2 of 2

intransitive verb

1
a
: to become cold
b
: to shiver or quake with or as if with cold
2
: to become affected with a chill

transitive verb

: to make cold or chilly

Legal Definition

: to discourage especially through fear of penalty : have a chilling effect on
statutes which may chill the exercise of…free expression M. H. Redish

More from Merriam-Webster on chill

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