from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A moderate but penetrating coldness.
  • noun A sensation of coldness, often accompanied by shivering and pallor of the skin.
  • noun A checking or dampening of enthusiasm, spirit, or joy.
  • noun A sudden numbing fear or dread.
  • adjective Moderately cold; chilly.
  • adjective Not warm and friendly; distant.
  • adjective Discouraging; dispiriting.
  • intransitive verb To affect with or as if with cold.
  • intransitive verb To lower in temperature; cool.
  • intransitive verb To make discouraged; dispirit.
  • intransitive verb Metallurgy To harden (a metallic surface) by rapid cooling.
  • intransitive verb To be seized with cold.
  • intransitive verb To become cold or set.
  • intransitive verb Metallurgy To become hard by rapid cooling.
  • intransitive verb To calm down or relax. Often used with out.
  • intransitive verb To pass time idly; loiter. Often used with out.
  • intransitive verb To keep company; see socially. Often used with out.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be cold; shiver with cold.
  • To become cold rapidly or suddenly.
  • To affect with cold; make chilly; strike or blast with severe cold.
  • Figuratively, to check in enthusiasm or warmth of feeling; discourage; dispirit; depress.
  • In metallurgy, to reduce suddenly in temperature, as a mass of molten iron, so as to harden it by causing a change of crystallization at or near the surface. See casting.
  • To remove the chill from, as liquor, by warming it.
  • noun A sudden or intense sensation of cold; especially, such a sensation accompanied with shivering or shaking, as a result of exposure to the cold or as the precursor or accompaniment of certain fevers; a cold fit; rigor.
  • noun A degree of cold; that condition of the atmosphere or of any object which produces the sensation of cold; coldness such as that caused by the proximity of ice; chilliness: as, there is a chill in the air.
  • noun Figuratively, a feeling as of coldness produced by anything that discourages, annoys, or offends; a depressing influence; a check to warmth of feeling, as to sympathy or enthusiasm.
  • noun A metal mold in which certain kinds of iron-castings, as car-wheels, are made. The surfaces in contact with the mold are hardened by sudden chilling.
  • noun In painting, dullness or dimness in a picture.
  • Cold; tending to cause shivering: as, the chill air of night. See chilly
  • Experiencing cold; shivering with cold.
  • Figuratively— Depressing; dispiriting; discouraging.
  • Distant; formal; not warm, hearty, or affectionate: as, a chill reception. See chilly, 4.
  • Insensible in death.
  • noun A lamp peculiar to Cornball and the extreme west of England, consisting of an open saucer bent up on four sides so as to leave at the corners depressed spouts or gutters for holding wicks. Such lamps are made of earthenware or of metal, and are often fitted with a hanging support.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A moderate but disagreeable degree of cold; a disagreeable sensation of coolness, accompanied with shivering.
  • noun (Med.) A sensation of cold with convulsive shaking of the body, pinched face, pale skin, and blue lips, caused by undue cooling of the body or by nervous excitement, or forming the precursor of some constitutional disturbance, as of a fever.
  • noun A check to enthusiasm or warmth of feeling; discouragement.
  • noun An iron mold or portion of a mold, serving to cool rapidly, and so to harden, the surface of molten iron brought in contact with it.
  • noun The hardened part of a casting, as the tread of a car wheel.
  • noun fever and ague.
  • adjective Moderately cold; tending to cause shivering; chilly; raw.
  • adjective Affected by cold.
  • adjective Characterized by coolness of manner, feeling, etc.; lacking enthusiasm or warmth; formal; distant.
  • adjective Discouraging; depressing; dispiriting.
  • intransitive verb (Metal.) To become surface-hardened by sudden cooling while solidifying.
  • transitive verb To strike with a chill; to make chilly; to cause to shiver; to affect with cold.
  • transitive verb To check enthusiasm or warmth of feeling of; to depress; to discourage.
  • transitive verb (Metal.) To produce, by sudden cooling, a change of crystallization at or near the surface of, so as to increase the hardness; said of cast iron.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A moderate, but uncomfortable and penetrating coldness.


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

[Middle English chile, from Old English cele; see gel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English ċele.


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  • Citation (with meaning “crystal�?) at uncleft.

    November 14, 2008