\ 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



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

Antonyms: Verb

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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 instructions for thawing out stem cell products often say to warm up and thaw the product in your hands within minutes., 11 June 2021 Across the Arctic, scientists estimate that with two degrees C of warming, 2.5 million square kilometers of permafrost could thaw and disappear. Gloria Dickie, Scientific American, 18 May 2021 As the Cold War began to thaw, the franchise struggled to find topical new adversaries, turning to self- parody and camp. Chris Nashawaty,, 15 Sep. 2021 If time permits, our Test Kitchen recommends allowing frozen mashed potatoes to thaw in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Aug. 2021 As Greenland's surface continues to thaw, Slater said coastal cities around the world are vulnerable to storm-surge flooding, especially when extreme weather coincides with high tides. Rachel Ramirez, CNN, 29 July 2021 Simply thaw and indulge in the classic combination of caramel, coconut, and chocolate. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Aug. 2021 Wearing red or white headlamps set at low intensity, the biologists thaw tiny shrimp and krill, rinsing away excess oils. Kevin Spear,, 15 Apr. 2021 On the edge of the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota, Tania Aubid stares at the slushy waters that thaw a little more with every passing spring day. NBC News, 26 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To punish Cuba and win political points in Florida, Trump took steps to reverse the diplomatic thaw started by President Obama. Tracy Wilkinson Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2021 And some of those are likely to be affected by the widespread permafrost thaw predicted to happen throughout Denali in the coming decades. Nat Herz, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Oct. 2021 Any thaw would come weeks later, AccuWeather added, with a heightened risk of nor'easters at the end of the season. Julia Musto, Fox News, 2 Oct. 2021 In Alaska's midlatitudes, fires may trigger enough thaw that the permafrost will never return, barring another Ice Age. Randi Jandt, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2021 In addition, the freeze/thaw cycle helps mix lime into the soil. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Sep. 2021 Huawei CFO and the founder’s daughter Meng Wanzhou was released from house arrest in a small thaw in US-China political relations. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 To say that the apparent swap signals a thaw in relations would be premature at best, experts said., 25 Sep. 2021 But Lynette Ong, a political scientist at the University of Toronto, said a thaw in bilateral relations was unlikely and that sour feelings would remain. Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2021

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for thaw


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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Time Traveler for thaw

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near thaw



thaw house

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Statistics for thaw

Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thaw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for thaw



English Language Learners Definition of thaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



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


\ 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



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

More from Merriam-Webster on thaw

Nglish: Translation of thaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thaw for Arabic Speakers


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