\ ˈkōld How to pronounce cold (audio) \

Definition of cold

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having or being a temperature that is uncomfortably low for humans it is cold outside today a cold drafty attic
b : having a relatively low temperature or one lower than normal or expected the bath water has gotten cold
c : not heated: such as
(1) of food : served without heating especially after initial cooking or processing cold cereal cold roast beef
(2) : served chilled or with ice a cold drink
(3) : involving processing without the use of heat cold working of steel
2a : marked by a lack of the warmth of normal human emotion, friendliness, or compassion a cold stare got a cold reception also : not moved to enthusiasm the movie leaves me cold
b : not colored or affected by personal feeling or bias : detached, indifferent cold chronicles recorded by an outsider— Andrew Sarris also : impersonal, objective cold facts cold reality
c : marked by sure familiarity : pat had her lines cold weeks before opening night
3 : conveying the impression of being cold: such as
a : depressing, gloomy cold gray skies
4a : marked by the loss of normal body heat cold hands especially : dead … she lay cold and still—she was gone … — Upton Sinclair
b : giving the appearance of being dead : unconscious passed out cold
5a : having lost freshness or vividness : stale dogs trying to pick up a cold scent
b : far off the mark : not close to finding or solving used especially in children's games
c : marked by poor or unlucky performance the team's shooting turned cold in the second half
d : not prepared or suitably warmed up The player's sub entered the game cold.
in cold blood
: with premeditation : deliberately was killed in cold blood



Definition of cold (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : bodily sensation produced by loss or lack of heat they died of the cold
2 : a condition of low temperature extremes of heat and cold especially : cold weather He waited outside for her in the bitter cold.
3 : a bodily disorder popularly associated with chilling specifically : common cold She came down with a cold.
out in the cold
: deprived of benefits given others the plan benefits management but leaves labor out in the cold



Definition of cold (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : with utter finality : absolutely, completely turned down cold also : abruptly stopped them cold
2a : without introduction or advance notice walked in cold to apply for a job
b : without preparation or warm-up was asked to perform the solo cold

Other Words from cold


coldish \ ˈkōld-​ish How to pronounce cold (audio) \ adjective
coldly \ ˈkōl(d)-​lē How to pronounce cold (audio) \ adverb
coldness \ ˈkōl(d)-​nəs How to pronounce cold (audio) \ noun

Examples of cold in a Sentence

Adjective The water was too cold for swimming. The weather has been unusually cold this spring. a country with a cold climate It was a long, cold winter. It's cold outside, but the wind makes it feel even colder. It's bitterly cold out there! metal that is cold to the touch Are you cold? I could turn up the temperature if you'd like. a bowl of cold cereal He ate cold pizza for breakfast. Noun I mind cold more than heat. They died of exposure to cold. The cold really sets in around late November and doesn't let up until April. I stood there shivering in the cold. He waited outside for her in the bitter cold. Come in out of the cold. It's not the flu, it's just a cold. Adverb She was asked to perform the song cold. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department is seeking public help to identify a deceased man in an 11-year cold case. Sam Burdette, The Arizona Republic, 20 June 2022 The decades-old cold case began when a Siberian Husky brought home what at first looked like a doll to the dog's owners in Frenchville, Maine. Fox News, 16 June 2022 In addition, his office solved four cold-case deaths unrelated to Gacy, and discovered five missing people alive. Mark Guarino, Washington Post, 15 June 2022 In May, Thomas was arrested for the cold case murder of a woman found in Titus County, Texas, in 1992. Christine Pelisek,, 14 June 2022 Investigators are still working to resolve the couple's killing and are asking for the public's help in the cold case, Texas first assistant attorney general Brent Webster said at a news conference. Aya Elamroussi And Andy Rose, CNN, 10 June 2022 The two had been alone until a man walked in around 8 p.m. and went over to the soda machine, according to the San Antonio Police Department's cold case files. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 6 June 2022 And a podcast helped detectives gain a new perspective on a cold case – and make some arrests. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 6 June 2022 Dutch police use deepfake to spur potential leads in cold case. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 31 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With the replenishment of the RRF all but dead, the coalition is predicting that more than half of those 177,000 restaurants left out in the cold from the initial round will shut their doors permanently. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 The sodium-ion batteries also perform better in the cold and aren't subject to the thermal runaway that has led lithium-ion batteries to burst into flames. Vivek Wadhwa, Fortune, 16 June 2022 That scene of the ex-boyfriend standing outside the heroine’s book reading, in the cold? Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 12 June 2022 Consequently, many loyal workers are feeling left out in the cold. John Feldmann, Forbes, 10 June 2022 Just 5 to 10 minutes a day in the cold will work wonders for you. Bobby Maximus, Men's Health, 10 June 2022 Increasingly, that embrace leaves too many other residents out in the cold. New York Times, 1 June 2022 Here, however, those kinds of die-hard players are being left out in the cold in favor of ones who agree to pay vast sums of money. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 9 June 2022 Worried about the dog spending time outside alone in the cold, Dotan checked the pet's collar and tag for more information. Kelli Bender,, 2 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Perhaps, as several experts have posited since the pandemic’s early days, SARS-CoV-2 will just become the fifth cold-causing coronavirus. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 27 May 2022 This body wash is formulated with sea salt and cold-pressed orange oil, providing nutrients to the skin and improving its ability to absorb moisture. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 May 2022 The juvenile turtle is one of 29 turtles that rescuers discovered stranded and cold-stunned in Cape Cope, Massachusetts, last November. Kelli Bender,, 12 Apr. 2022 Saturday Night Live returned to 13th century England in the May 7 cold open to tackle the Supreme Court document leak signaling Roe v. Wade's reversal. Jessica Wang,, 8 May 2022 As parents, artists, and also an athlete/pharmacist combo, the Andrews’ collaborated with a food scientist to encourage a balanced lifestyle through the fast, fresh and efficient nutrition provided in cold-pressed juice. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 8 Feb. 2022 Brazil could prove more complicated: The Biden administration has so far largely cold-shouldered President Bolsonaro, seeing him as a populist soulmate of former President Donald Trump. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Mar. 2022 The hydrating and soothing skincare recipe contains an exceptional blend of botanical plant extracts and cold-pressed plant oils that plump, brighten, and moisturize the skin to reduce visible signs of aging. Essence, 21 Mar. 2022 Once the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit the iguanas go into a dormant or cold-stunned state. CBS News, 31 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of cold


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cold


Middle English, going back to Old English cald (Anglian), ceald (West Saxon), going back to Germanic *kalða- (whence Old Saxon cald "cold," Middle Dutch cout, Old High German kalt, Old Norse kaldr, Gothic kalds), verbal adjective from *kalan- "to be cold" (whence Old English calan "to be cold, to make cold," Old Norse kala "to freeze") going back to a dialectal Indo-European base *ǵel-, *ǵol-, whence also Latin gelū, gelus "frost, cold," gelāre "to freeze, chill"


Middle English, going back to Old English ceald, cald, noun derivative of ceald, cald cold entry 1 (or derivative from the Germanic base of these adjectives)


derivative of cold entry 1

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

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cold agglutination

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for cold


\ ˈkōld How to pronounce cold (audio) \
colder; coldest

Kids Definition of cold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having a low temperature or one much below normal a cold day
2 : suffering from lack of warmth I feel cold.
3 : cooled after being cooked We ate cold chicken.
4 : served at a low temperature or with ice Have a cold drink.
5 : lacking warmth of feeling : unfriendly She's been cold to me ever since our disagreement.
in cold blood
: with planning beforehand

Other Words from cold

coldly adverb
coldness noun



Kids Definition of cold (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a condition of low temperature : cold weather I can't stand the cold.
2 : the bodily feeling produced by lack of warmth : chill He was shivering with cold.


\ ˈkōld How to pronounce cold (audio) \

Medical Definition of cold

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having or being a temperature that is noticeably lower than body temperature and especially that is uncomfortable for humans a cold drafty room
b : having a relatively low temperature or one that is lower than normal or expected the bath water has gotten cold
c : receptive to the sensation of coldness : stimulated by cold a cold spot is a typical receptor in higher vertebrates
2 : marked by the loss of normal body heat cold hands
3 : dead
4 : exhibiting little or no radioactivity

Other Words from cold

coldness \ ˈkōl(d)-​nəs How to pronounce cold (audio) \ noun



Medical Definition of cold (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : bodily sensation produced by loss or lack of heat
2 : a bodily disorder popularly associated with chilling:
a in humans : common cold
b in domestic animals : coryza



Medical Definition of COLD (Entry 3 of 3)

More from Merriam-Webster on cold

Nglish: Translation of cold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cold for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cold


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