Word of the Day: chill

 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
November 13, 2015
 
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chill (noun, verb, adjective) sound LISTEN icon
 
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Chill as a noun means 'a piercing coldness,' or 'the feeling of cold in the body.' It is used figuratively to mean 'unfriendliness,' and it also means 'a sudden fear or alarm.' As a verb, chill means both 'to become cold' or 'to make cold,' and informally, 'to relax or take things easy.'
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Example sentences
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Winter is here; the chill at night is unbearable!
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I think I'm getting the flu; I've been having chills and shivers all day.
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I walked into my supervisor's office and I could feel the chill in the air.
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A chill ran down my spine as soon as he walked into the room.
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I put the wine in the fridge to let it chill before dinner.
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We had a great time on our vacation; we just chilled by the pool most days.
 
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Multi-word forms
 

chill out (phrasal verb, informal): relax, calm down. "Stop worrying about your exams; you've studied hard, so just chill out." Chill without "out" can also mean the same thing.

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Did you know?
 
Chill is often used by native speakers as an informal verb that means "to take things easy." You might spend an evening chilling with your friends. However, in this sense, the word doesn't have anything to do with the temperature. You can chill even if you are lying on a hot beach while sunbathing!
 
Other forms
 
chilliness (noun), chilly (adjective), chilling (adjective), chillingly (adverb)
Commonly confused with 
 
Chilly (cold) and chili (spicy peppers, or a spicy food made with ground beef) are pronounced the same way but mean very different things. In English we also sometimes pronounce Chile (the country) this way.
Origin
 
Chill dates back to before 900 and comes from the Middle English word chile and the Old English word ciele or cele (coolness).
Additional Information
 
Chill is also used as an adjective. See the full definition for more information.
 
 
See full definition
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Learn more about chill in our forums
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