Definition of chill in English:

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Pronunciation: /CHil/


1An unpleasant feeling of coldness in the atmosphere, one’s surroundings, or the body: there was a chill in the air the disease begins abruptly with chills, headaches, and dizziness
More example sentences
  • He sometimes feels a chill in the atmosphere at Xuhui High school, where he works as a librarian and part-time calligraphy teacher.
  • The chill of her surroundings brought the rest of her body to awareness.
  • Isabelle kneels down at Martin's gravestone, the bracing night air sending a chill through her body.
coldness, chilliness, coolness, iciness, rawness, bitterness, nip
1.1A feverish cold: we had better return before you catch a chill
More example sentences
  • You'll end up with a chill, and could catch pneumonia.
  • On the return trip, Mary caught a chill and the subsequent fever nearly killed her.
  • Anyway, a few years ago, he caught a chill and it turned into pneumonia; I buried him behind the cabin and came here.
a cold, (the) sniffles, (the) shivers, (the) flu/influenza, a fever
archaic (the) grippe
1.2A coldness of manner: a long-term chill in relations could hurt commerce
More example sentences
  • As he says this, a sudden chill descends on Penelope Wilton's hitherto friendly Sonya as if he has trodden on her soul.
  • Brian felt it the moment he entered the city limits - a sudden primeval chill, an instinctive animal watchfulness.
  • Both the leaders are certainly hoping that it warms up that chill between the countries.
unfriendliness, lack of warmth, lack of understanding, chilliness, coldness, coolness
1.3A depressing influence: his statements have cast a chill over this whole country
More example sentences
  • This remark, delivered in an offhand fashion, suddenly cast a rather sinister chill over the whole proceedings.
  • Besides, the ban on federal funding for most embryonic cell research has put a chill on the whole field.
1.4A sudden and powerful feeling of fear: a chill ran down my spine his words sent a chill of apprehension down my spine
More example sentences
  • And deep inside, a chill of fear ran down the bones of her spine.
  • A chill of fear swept over her and goosebumps sprang over her arms.
  • A chill of fear runs down my spine as I see a small hint of anger upon Matt's face, even though he is trying to keep it emotionless.
2A metal mold or part of a mold, often cooled, designed to ensure rapid or even cooling of metal during casting.
Example sentences
  • Thus, dry sand cores often are used in green sand molds, and metal chills can be used in sand molds to accelerate local cooling.


[with object]
1Make (someone) cold: I’m chilled to the bone
More example sentences
  • By the time I got there I was already chilled to the bone and was starting to have a few doubts as to whether I had bitten of more than I could chew.
  • He tucked the covers around her tightly, but she was chilled to the bone.
  • It seemed as though I was chilled to the bone even though I should have been very warm.
1.1Cool (food or drink), typically in a refrigerator: chill the soup slightly before serving
More example sentences
  • If you chill the foods once bacteria have proliferated, they will not suddenly disappear.
  • For a picnic, chill the strawberries and cream separately, take them along in a cool box, and assemble them on site.
  • The Romans used to chill perishable foods by packing them in snow brought from the Alps, using straw to insulate the snow and keep it from melting both on the journey and in use.
make cold, make colder, cool (down/off);
refrigerate, ice
1.2 [no object] (Of food or drink) be cooled by chilling: the beers are chilling in the cooler
More example sentences
  • And a bowl of juicy ripe fruit was placed on the table and a bottle of sparkling wine was chilling nicely in the silver cooler.
  • A half bottle of Beaumes de Venise, which incidentally, is my weakness, was chilling in the fridge.
  • The champagne is already chilling in the fridge.
2Horrify or frighten (someone): the city was chilled by the violence (as adjective chilling) a chilling account of the prisoners' fate
More example sentences
  • A sudden stiff breeze came, blowing back his thick, dark-brown hair, and chilling him with fright.
  • It chilled her, even frightened her, but she soon awoke to an even more startling reality than before: Kojiro was not kidding.
  • Defiantly magical During the flash, she also saw something that terrified her and chilled her to the bone.
3 (also chill out) [no object] informal Calm down and relax: I can lean back and chill chill out, okay?
More example sentences
  • The Federal became both my liming spot (as in chilling out, relaxing), and my evening school.
  • I never relaxed, and chilled out, and did the things I enjoyed doing.
  • Hawke's Bay's junior world rowing champion Emma Twigg could be excused if she wanted to chill out and relax this week in her first visit home since capturing gold.
3.1Pass time without a particular aim or purpose, especially with other people: we had a week at home and we chilled out
More example sentences
  • So other than my heartbreak during the week, I am now looking forward to heading for sunny Spain with my friend and just chilling out for two weeks, but don't worry I already have plenty of sunblock!
  • It's quite an experience for some, but noodle bar owners know that there are some who prefer a great atmosphere to eat their noodles in while chilling out with friends.
  • Whether you're spending the holidays with your family or chilling out with your friends, you'll want to look great.


1Chilly: the chill gray dawn figurative the chill winds of public censure
More example sentences
  • With the return of grey skies and chill winds, what better than a concert promising a hint of warmer climes?
  • On a bleak, grey afternoon with a chill wind coming from the North Sea barely 100 yards away, Stanley took control of the game early on and the home side rarely threatened.
  • A crisp, chill wind bit at our exposed faces as we walked along designated walkways to the terminal; despite the cold, I found an extra vigour in my step.
cold, chilly, cool, fresh;
wintry, frosty, icy, ice-cold, icy-cold, glacial, polar, arctic, raw, bitter, bitterly cold, biting, freezing, frigid, gelid, hypothermic
informal nippy
2North American informal Very relaxed or easygoing: I’m kind of a relaxed, chill guy the island is really chill and laid-back
More example sentences
  • What they need is more unstructured time, more 'chill time.'
  • At just before seven minutes in, the band settles into a chill mid-tempo groove conducive to minor head-nodding.
  • More assertive than ambient, but more chill than club music.



chill someone's blood

Horrify or terrify someone.
Example sentences
  • As for the smell of chlorinated water, it chills my blood to the bone.
  • The indignation spreads through his veins, chilling his blood.
  • Does this chill your blood (as it does mine) or do you believe in the justified revenge of ‘an eye for an eye’?

take the chill off

Warm slightly.
Example sentences
  • Eating something warm took the chill off 29%, while 18% cuddled up under the duvet to watch TV.
  • So I turned the volume down and turned on the little heater to take the chill off & hit the snooze button for 10 minutes.
  • A few years ago LaMarche and his partner, Josee Savard, purchased large gas heaters to take the chill off on bad days.



Pronunciation: /ˈCHilnəs/
Example sentences
  • However, the bitter chillness notwithstanding, thousands of people, particularly children, gathered in the main Charing Cross and Commercial road areas and cheered.
  • A few stayed on, amid the overwhelming chillness, in the hope that sunshine would finally pierce through those dense layers of cloud.
  • she chuckled and dipped her hands into the water, splashing it into her face and delighting in the chillness of it.


Pronunciation: /-səm/
( literary)
Example sentences
  • Always as uplifting as it is chillsome, the combination of Kate Ellis' airy cello, Thomas Haugh's tenderness on the tubs and Crowley's divine leadership never fails to hit the mark.
  • It was a chillsome late autumn, especially down by the lagoon where the winds blew unchecked, and a fire had been set in the fireplace.
  • Texas had, perchance, 30,000 Anglo-American inhabitants in the chillsome spring of 1836, primarily due to the Colonies of Stephen F. Austin and Green DeWitt.


Old English cele, ciele 'cold, coldness', of Germanic origin; related to cold.

Words that rhyme with chill

bill, Brazil, brill, Camille, cookchill, dill, distil (US distill), downhill, drill, Edgehill, Estoril, fill, freewill, frill, fulfil (US fulfill), Gill, goodwill, grill, grille, hill, ill, instil, kill, krill, mil, mill, nil, Phil, pill, quadrille, quill, rill, Seville, shill, shrill, sill, skill, spadille, spill, squill, still, stock-still, swill, thill, thrill, till, trill, twill, until, uphill, will

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chill

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