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

  • noun A deposit of minute ice crystals formed when water vapor condenses at a temperature below freezing.
  • noun A period of weather when such deposits form.
  • noun A cold manner or period of disaffection.
  • intransitive verb To cover with frost.
  • intransitive verb To damage or kill by frost.
  • intransitive verb To cover (glass, for example) with a roughened or speckled decorative surface.
  • intransitive verb To cover or decorate with icing.
  • intransitive verb To bleach or lighten the color of (hair) with dye so that some but not all strands are changed in color.
  • intransitive verb Slang To anger or upset.
  • intransitive verb To become covered with frost.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A spiked sole put on shoes to enable one to walk on ice without slipping.
  • noun The act of freezing; congelation of fluids; formation of ice.
  • noun That state or temperature of the air which occasions freezing or the congelation of water; severe cold or freezing weather.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The state or condition of being frozen: said of the surface of the ground: as, the frost extends to a depth of ten inches.
  • noun Figuratively, coldness or severity of manner or feeling.
  • 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.

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

  • transitive verb To injure by frost; to freeze, as plants.
  • transitive verb To cover with hoarfrost; to produce a surface resembling frost upon, as upon cake, metals, or glass.
  • transitive verb To roughen or sharpen, as the nail heads or calks of horseshoes, so as to fit them for frosty weather.
  • noun The act of freezing; -- applied chiefly to the congelation of water; congelation of fluids.
  • noun The state or temperature of the air which occasions congelation, or the freezing of water; severe cold or freezing weather.
  • noun Frozen dew; -- called also hoarfrost or white frost.
  • noun rare Coldness or insensibility; severity or rigidity of character.
  • noun cold so intense as to freeze vegetation and cause it to turn black, without the formation of hoarfrost.
  • noun (Physics) a philosophical instrument illustrating the freezing of water in a vacuum; a cryophorus.
  • noun (Bot.) an American grape, with very small, acid berries.
  • noun a lamp placed below the oil tube of an Argand lamp to keep the oil limpid on cold nights; -- used especially in lighthouses.
  • noun a nail with a sharp head driven into a horse's shoe to keep him from slipping.
  • noun an appearance resembling smoke, caused by congelation of vapor in the atmosphere in time of severe cold.
  • noun a valve to drain the portion of a pipe, hydrant, pump, etc., where water would be liable to freeze.
  • noun a popular personification of frost.

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

  • noun 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.
  • noun The cold weather that would cause frost as in (1) to form.
  • verb To get covered with frost.
  • verb To coat something (eg a cake) with white icing to resemble frost.
  • verb To anger or annoy.

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

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


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

[Middle English, from Old English; see preus- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.


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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