cold


cold
cold, cool, chilly, frigid, freezing, frosty, gelid, icy, glacial, arctic mean having a temperature below that which is normal or comfortable.
Cold is the general term, often implying nothing more than a lack of warmth
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a cold day

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a cold hand

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cold meat

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It may also connote discomfort
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shivering in her cold room

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battered by a cold wind

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Cool suggests moderate and often refreshing coldness
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a cool breeze

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a cool hand on a fevered brow

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a cool drink

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but when hotness or warmth is desirable it, too, connotes something disagreeable
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cool soup

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a cool radiator

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Chilly implies coldness that makes one shiver
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a chilly morning

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a chilly room

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Frigid, freezing, and frosty imply temperatures below 32° Fahrenheit.
Frigid stresses the intensity of the cold
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a frigid climate

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frigid weather

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and freezing its congealing effect (as on man, vegetation, and water)
{

a freezing wind

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{

freezing temperature

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while frosty applies rather specifically to times or conditions in which fine ice crystals are deposited from atmospheric moisture onto a cold surface
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frosty nights are usually clear and cold with little wind

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Gelid is equivalent to freezing, but it somewhat more often stresses the resultant discomfort
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so the leaden hours passed in the gelid darkness— Sitwell

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while sea-born gales their gelid wings expand— Goldsmith

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Icy, when used to indicate a kind of coldness, implies frigidity so great as to be painful and cutting; it is applicable chiefly to winds, storms, and water
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an icy rain

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{

an icy northeast wind

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Basically glacial is very close to icy
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the air in the cave was glacial, penetrated to the very bones— Cather

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but its later association with glacier has given it an ambiguous cast in many locutions; thus, a glacial lake might be, according to context, either a painfully cold lake or one formed by the action of a glacier.
Arctic is the strongest of these words in its suggestion of intense coldness. It connotes the frigidity of the polar regions and is usually a hyperbolic rather than an exact term
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a winter notable for its arctic temperatures

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When applied to persons, their temperaments, their acts and words, and their responses to stimuli, these words are also marked by differences in implications.
Cold suggests absence of feeling or emotion, or less than normal human sympathy, friendliness, sensitiveness, or responsiveness
{

his plea left us cold

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{

cold words

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he treated us with cold justice

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{

their cold intelligence, their stereotyped, unremitting industry repel me— L. P. Smith

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{

Okio, in spite of his unerring eye and his incomparable cunning of hand, was of too cold a temperament to infuse a powerful current of life into the old tradition— Binyon

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Cool (see also COOL 2) stresses control over one's feelings or emotions, and therefore absence of excitement or agitation
{

this wonder, that when near her he should be cool and composed, and when away from her wrapped in a tempest of desires— Meredith

}
{

both looked at life with a cool realism which was not allowed to become cynical— Buchan

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Chilly, frosty, and freezing usually stress the effect of another's coldness: chilly connotes a depressing or repressive influence
{

a chilly greeting

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{

a chilly reception

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while frosty connotes a checking or restraining of advances
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a frosty smile

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and freezing connotes a blighting or repelling
{

a freezing reply to a letter

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{

many . . . had been repelled by his freezing looks— Macaulay

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Frigid suggests such a deficiency of natural feeling as is abnormal or repellent; it is specifically applicable to persons who are sexually passionless and averse to sexual intercourse, but it is often applied to things which are not, but by their nature should be, impassioned or infused with feeling or warmth
{

frigid verse

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a frigid religion

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{

frigid hospitality

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Gelid and icy suggest a discomfiting chill (as in manner or conduct), the former sometimes stressing the power to benumb, the latter the power to pierce or stab
{

immediately,the long gelid, nightly silence fell between us— Spina}}

}
{

sweeping her sympathizers with a gelid gaze— Patton

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her voice dropped into an icy gravity— Yerby

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a lady of the most arresting beauty and icy good breeding— Max Peacock

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Glacial suggests a chilling lack of vitality or animation
{

Boston, for all its glacial perfection, has no intimacy at all— Virgil Thomson

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{

his manner more glacial and sepulchral than ever— Motley

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Arctic frequently adds to frigid a connotation of remoteness from all that is human or referable to humanity
{

exact and arctic justice— Mencken

}
Antonyms: hot

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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