Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deposit of minute ice crystals formed when water vapor condenses at a temperature below freezing.
  • n. A temperature low enough to cause freezing.
  • n. The process of freezing.
  • n. A cold or icy manner.
  • transitive v. To cover with frost.
  • transitive v. To damage or kill by frost.
  • transitive v. To cover (glass, for example) with a roughened or speckled decorative surface.
  • transitive v. To cover or decorate with icing: frost a cake.
  • transitive v. Slang To anger or upset: What really frosted me about the incident was the fact that you lied.
  • intransitive v. To become covered with or as if with frost.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cover of minute ice crystals on objects that are exposed to the air. Some of these are tree branches, plant stems, leaves, wires, poles, vehicles, rooftops, or aircraft skin. Frost is the same process by which dew is formed except that the temperature of the frosted object is below freezing. Frost can be light or heavy.
  • n. The cold weather that would cause frost as in (1) to form.
  • v. To get covered with frost.
  • v. To coat something (eg a cake) with white icing to resemble frost.
  • v. To anger or annoy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of freezing; -- applied chiefly to the congelation of water; congelation of fluids.
  • n. The state or temperature of the air which occasions congelation, or the freezing of water; severe cold or freezing weather.
  • n. Frozen dew; -- called also hoarfrost or white frost.
  • n. Coldness or insensibility; severity or rigidity of character.
  • transitive v. To injure by frost; to freeze, as plants.
  • transitive v. To cover with hoarfrost; to produce a surface resembling frost upon, as upon cake, metals, or glass.
  • transitive v. To roughen or sharpen, as the nail heads or calks of horseshoes, so as to fit them for frosty weather.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To injure by frost.
  • To cover with hoar frost; hence, to cover with something resembling hoar frost, as cake with a crust of white sugar; give the appearance or color of hoar frost to; lay on like hoar frost.
  • To sharpen the front and hind parts of (a horse's shoes): also applied elliptically to the horse itself. It is done to enable the horse to travel on ice or frozen roads.
  • To freeze; hence, to become like frost through alteration of structure, as glass.
  • n. The act of freezing; congelation of fluids; formation of ice.
  • n. That state or temperature of the air which occasions freezing or the congelation of water; severe cold or freezing weather.
  • n. A covering of minute ice-needles formed from the atmosphere at night upon the ground and on exposed objects when they have cooled by radiation below the dew-point and the dew-point is below the freezing-point. Also called hoar frost, white frost, and rime.
  • n. The state or condition of being frozen: said of the surface of the ground: as, the frost extends to a depth of ten inches.
  • n. Figuratively, coldness or severity of manner or feeling.
  • n. A spiked sole put on shoes to enable one to walk on ice without slipping.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. United States poet famous for his lyrical poems on country life in New England (1874-1963)
  • n. the formation of frost or ice on a surface
  • v. damage by frost
  • n. weather cold enough to cause freezing
  • n. ice crystals forming a white deposit (especially on objects outside)
  • v. provide with a rough or speckled surface or appearance
  • v. decorate with frosting
  • v. cover with frost

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English; see preus- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English frost, from Proto-Germanic *frustan, *frustaz (compare West Frisian froast, Dutch vorst, German Frost), derived from *freusanan (“to freeze”) (compare English freeze). More at freeze. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • So farewell—to the little good you bear me.
    Farewell? a long farewell to all my greatness!
    This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
    The tender leaves of hopes, to-morrow blossoms,
    And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
    The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
    And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
    His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
    And then he falls as I do.

    - William Shakespeare, Henry the Eight.

    August 17, 2009