Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To change from a frozen solid to a liquid by gradual warming.
  • intransitive verb To lose stiffness, numbness, or impermeability by being warmed.
  • intransitive verb To become warm enough for snow and ice to melt.
  • intransitive verb To become less formal, aloof, or reserved.
  • intransitive verb To cause to thaw.
  • noun The process of thawing.
  • noun A period of warm weather during which ice and snow melt.
  • noun A relaxation of reserve, restraints, or tensions.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The melting of ice or snow: also, the melting by heat of any substance congealed by frost.
  • noun Warmth of weather, such as liquefies or melts anything congealed.
  • noun The state of becoming less cold, formal, or reserved.
  • To pass from a frozen to a liquid or semi-fluid state; melt; dissolve: said of ice or snow; also, to be freed from frost; have the contained frost dissolved by heat: said of anything frozen.
  • To become so warm as to melt ice and snow; rise above a temperature of 32° Fahrenheit: said of the weather, and used impersonally.
  • To be released from any condition, physical or mental, resembling that of freezing; become supple, warm, or genial; be freed from coldness, embarrassment, formality, or reserve; unbend: often with out.
  • To reduce from a frozen to a liquid state, as ice or snow; also, to free from frost, as some frozen substance: often with out.
  • To render less cold, formal, or stiff; free from embarrassment, shyness, or reserve; make genial: often with out.
  • Synonyms Dissolve, Fuse, etc. See melt.

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

  • noun The melting of ice, snow, or other congealed matter; the resolution of ice, or the like, into the state of a fluid; liquefaction by heat of anything congealed by frost; also, a warmth of weather sufficient to melt that which is congealed.
  • transitive verb To cause (frozen things, as earth, snow, ice) to melt, soften, or dissolve.
  • intransitive verb To melt, dissolve, or become fluid; to soften; -- said of that which is frozen.
  • intransitive verb To become so warm as to melt ice and snow; -- said in reference to the weather, and used impersonally.
  • intransitive verb To grow gentle or genial. Compare cold{4}, a. and hard{6}, a.

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

  • verb intransitive To melt, dissolve, or become fluid; to soften; — said of that which is frozen; as, the ice thaws. Specifically by gradual warming
  • verb intransitive To become so warm as to melt ice and snow; — said in reference to the weather, and used impersonally.
  • verb intransitive, figuratively To grow gentle or genial.
  • verb transitive To cause frozen things (such as earth, snow, ice) to melt, soften, or dissolve. Specifically by gradual warming.
  • noun The melting of ice, snow, or other congealed matter; the resolution of ice, or the like, into the state of a fluid; liquefaction by heat of anything congealed by frost
  • noun a warmth of weather sufficient to melt that which is congealed. —Dryden.

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

  • noun a relaxation or slackening of tensions or reserve; becoming less hostile
  • noun the process whereby heat changes something from a solid to a liquid
  • noun warm weather following a freeze; snow and ice melt
  • verb become or cause to become soft or liquid

Etymologies

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

[Middle English thawen, from Old English thawian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English thowen, thawen, from Old English þāwian ("to thaw"), from Proto-Germanic *þawōnan, *þawjanan (“to thaw, melt”), from Proto-Indo-European *tāw- (“to melt”). Cognate with Scots thow ("to thaw"), West Frisian teie ("to thaw, melt"), Dutch dooien ("to thaw"), German tauen ("to thaw"), Swedish töa ("to thaw"), Icelandic þeyja ("to thaw"), Latin tābēs ("melting, wasting away") and Albanian thaj ("to dry (up), to thaw").

Examples

  • Will the voters of Minnesota encounter a brain thaw by November?

    Think Progress » Bachmann Suggests Critics Of Health Care Reform Will Be Put On A ‘List’ And Denied Treatment

  • In this case, long-term thaw of the permafrost layer can be expected and cost-effective design strategies are currently unavailable.

    Infrastructure and climate in the Arctic

  • I cannot tell you all that we did with it, because money melts away "like snow-wreaths in thaw-jean," as Denny says, and somehow the more you have the more quickly it melts.

    The Wouldbegoods

  • "A talik allows heat to build more quickly in the soil, hastening the long-term thaw of permafrost," says Lawrence.

    Countercurrents.org

  • 14 Another indication of the thaw is that around this time Dilke began commissioning work from his friend for The Athenaeum ( "Fresh Light" 140).

    New Letters from Charles Brown to Joseph Severn

  • It’s a demonstration project because, as jbooth2009 noted, these materials are a tricky matter where freeze/thaw is a problem.

    Holey Concrete: Pervious Paving Reduces Stormwater Run-off | Inhabitat

  • The thaw is a contrast to the situation in the second half of last year, when Europe's capital markets contracted sharply.

    European Investors Grab Corporate Debt

  • A big part of the thaw has been the dramatic rehabilitation of Syria's Mr. Assad in the eyes of many Western and Arab officials.

    U.S. Continues Charm Offensive With Syria

  • The ground covered with snow, and the atmosphere in that unsettled state between frost and thaw, which is of all others the most unfriendly for exercise, every morning beginning in rain or snow, and every evening setting in to freeze, she was for many days a most honourable prisoner.

    Emma

  • The ground covered with snow, and the atmosphere in that unsettled state between frost and thaw, which is of all others the most unfriendly for exercise, every morning beginning in rain or snow, and every evening setting in to freeze, she was for many days a most honourable prisoner.

    Emma

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