Definition of cool in English:

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Pronunciation: /ko͞ol/


1Of or at a fairly low temperature: it’ll be a cool afternoon the wind kept them cool
More example sentences
  • If grain is stored into the following summer, run fans only at night when the temperature is fairly cool.
  • It was late afternoon, and fairly cool, but the USAID official was sweating heavily.
  • We have been getting good afternoon showers with fairly cool nights, a welcome change from the heat.
chilly, chill, cold, bracing, brisk, crisp, fresh, refreshing, invigorating, nippy
1.1Soothing or refreshing because of its low temperature: a cool drink in the leafy shade figurative the bathroom was all glass and cool, muted blues
More example sentences
  • We then went for a stroll through the village, and had a cool, refreshing drink in a bar, before going back to collect our bags for the night.
  • The ocean air was refreshing and a cool breeze had tempered the thick Hawaiian heat.
  • He said putting the top of the can on his lips, enjoying the cool refreshing drink.
1.2(Especially of clothing) keeping one from becoming too hot: wear your cool, comfortable shirts
More example sentences
  • Light, comfortable, and cool clothing is a must for carnival in Jamaica.
  • I remembered that my father wore velvet coats in the winter and cool shirts in the summer.
  • The enemy were strong, and could easily fight in the sun in their surprisingly cool robes.
1.3Showing no friendliness toward a person or enthusiasm for an idea or project: he gave a cool reception to the suggestion for a research center
More example sentences
  • However, the idea has received a cool reception from employers, who believe it is unrealistic for all but a very few companies and employees.
  • Most environmental non-governmental organisations have been cool to the idea of funding rehabilitation projects.
  • Throughout his life Louis treated her with a cool reserve.
unenthusiastic, lukewarm, tepid, indifferent, uninterested, apathetic, halfhearted;
unfriendly, distant, remote, aloof, cold, chilly, frosty, unwelcoming, unresponsive, uncommunicative, undemonstrative
informal standoffish
1.4Free from excitement or anxiety: he prided himself on keeping a cool head she seems cool, calm, and collected
More example sentences
  • The Swede is known for keeping a cool head but said this was his nature, although bosses owe it to their teams to be confident and positive.
  • Despite these additional pressures, the bride-to-be is keeping a cool head.
  • Now ambulance staff have praised the Wigginton youngster for keeping a cool head and raising the alarm.
calm, ‘calm, cool, and collected’, composed, as cool as a cucumber, collected, coolheaded, levelheaded, self-possessed, controlled, self-controlled, poised, serene, tranquil, unruffled, unperturbed, unmoved, untroubled, imperturbable, placid, phlegmatic
informal unflappable, together, laid-back
1.5(Of jazz, especially modern jazz) restrained and relaxed.
Example sentences
  • His book does not deal with the offshoots of bebop, such as cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, free jazz and fusion.
  • Throw in waltzes, cool jazz, quasi-hymns, slinky beats and some country, and this might be the man's most musically diverse album.
  • The gazebo of the amphitheatre was the perfect setting for their ethereal fusion of cool jazz and old-time calypso.
2 informal Fashionably attractive or impressive: I always wore sunglasses to look cool
More example sentences
  • Who is going to replace her as the model of cool, trendy fashion on TV?
  • I've never been near here before, but the lights of Sydney look so cool at night.
  • Her style is different from anyone else I know, which made her totally cool in my book.
fashionable, stylish, chic, up-to-the-minute, sophisticated
informal trendy, funky, with it, hip, big, happening, groovy, phat, kicky, fly, styling/stylin'
2.1Excellent: [as exclamation]: a computer you didn’t even have to plug in. Cool!
More example sentences
  • Tomorrow I also get to see my nephew again for the first time in a month and a half - cool!
  • I didn't know all planets and planetoids were officially supposed to be named after gods of mythology - cool!
  • They are however looking for other indie kids who are unique in exactly the same way as them - cool, huh?
2.2Used to express acceptance or agreement: if people want to freak out at our clubs, that’s cool
3 (a cool ——) informal Used to emphasize a specified quantity or amount, especially of money: a cool $15,000 to buy the franchise
More example sentences
  • Belfast’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2008 could cost a cool £150 million
  • A two-piece suit from this guy comes in at a cool two grand, so is unlikely to be realistic unless I win the lottery.
  • It’s got a top speed of 185 and would cost you a cool £110,000 to drive off the forecourt.


1 (the cool) A fairly low temperature: the cool of the night air
More example sentences
  • She sat well back from the fire; the night cool had not set in yet.
  • Emma was shocked at the electricity that had passed between them, an instant heat despite the cool of the June night.
  • It was night now, I could feel the cool of night in the air, and smell it in the breeze.
chill, chilliness, coldness, coolness
1.1A time or place at which the temperature is pleasantly low: the cool of the evening
More example sentences
  • As they sit at the openings of their tents in the cool of the summer evening, on the completion of a long journey, they break out into song.
  • What better way to end a hot summer's day than to sit back to enjoy the cool of the evening with the latest gripping novel.
  • Sometimes a few small boys are scrabbling about on a road or an old lady is sitting out in the cool of an evening.
2Calmness; composure: he recovered his cool and then started laughing at us
More example sentences
  • His point guard play is a picture of composure and cool.
  • Hopefully, he'll recover his stony-faced cool in time to thwart the intergalactic threat.
  • For all her cool and calmness, she liked insulting my older brother.
self-control, control, composure, self-possession, self-command, calmness, equilibrium, calm;
aplomb, poise, sangfroid, presence of mind
3The quality of being fashionably attractive or impressive: all the cool of high fashion
More example sentences
  • Now Giorgio Armani, one of the world's most influential fashion designers, is bringing his unique brand of Italian cool to Edinburgh.
  • Casual fashion from the 70s and 80s is the latest street cool, apparently.
  • Topshop was one of the pioneers of turning catwalk cool into high street hip, and it has been hailed as Fashion Retailer Of The Year, not once but twice.


1Become or cause to become less hot: [no object]: we dived into the river to cool off figurative his feelings for her took a long time to cool [with object]: cool the pastry for five minutes
More example sentences
  • While humans try to cool off under the fan and the more fortunate in air-conditioned rooms, the wild and domestic animals are not so lucky.
  • The weekend's fine weather was good news for Yorkshire's tourist industry and, of course, the baking heat sent many in search of ways to cool off.
  • It started to cool off today, at last, much to Dolly's relief.
chill, refrigerate
1.1Become or cause to become calm or less excited: [no object]: after I’d cooled off, I realized I was being irrational [with object]: George was trying to cool him down
More example sentences
  • We literally had to pin him down until he cooled off.
  • He would allow her to come back to him after she cooled off, and he would say nothing of it.
  • By time he had gotten his food and sat down at a table in the corner, he had cooled off a bit.
calm down, recover/regain one's composure, compose oneself, control oneself, pull oneself together, simmer down
informal take a chill pill
1.2 (cool down) Recover from strenuous physical exertion by doing gentle stretches and exercises; warm down.
Example sentences
  • Always warm up before activity, stretch gently and cool down at the end of exercise.
  • Before and after the test, be sure to walk for several minutes to let your body warm up and cool down.
  • It also features a warm up and cool down section, lasting six minutes each.
1.3 [usually in imperative] (cool it) informal Behave in a less excitable manner: “Cool it and tell me why you’re so ecstatic.”
More example sentences
  • I got a certificate saying I've been admitted to the bar, and I've even got a wig, so cool it!
  • If you're not careful you'll be too tired to even lift the crown, cool it!
  • I ask him to cool it, but he doesn't calm down that easily, so I think it's about something else.



cool one's heels

Be kept waiting.
Example sentences
  • Well, drivers will have to cool their heels in traffic.
  • The reporters who stay cool their heels in the lobby.
  • There we all were, cooling our heels in a hotel lobby waiting for our first appointments of the day.

keep (or lose) one's cool

informal Maintain (or fail to maintain) a calm and controlled attitude.
Example sentences
  • Despite the fact that he was vastly outnumbered John never lost his cool, stayed calm and came away with a deserved victory.
  • He's trying to get control by making me lose my cool.
  • He has kept remarkably calm, refusing to lose his cool in the face of constant provocation.

play it cool

see play.



Example sentences
  • We were ushered through to the comfortable bar area - again, decorated in coolish summer colours - where we pondered the menu over a glass of Kaliber low alcohol lager for me and an orange juice for Lili.
  • ‘The last week to 10 days have warmed up and I think the overall temperature for July will probably be average after a coolish start,’ he said.
  • ‘It was coolish,’ says Murray, by which he means an ambient temperature of minus 42 degrees Celsius.


Old English cōl (noun), cōlian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch koel, also to cold.

  • As early as the 1880s, cool, an Old English word related to cold, was being used by black Americans to mean ‘excellent, pleasing’, and ‘stylish’. It only became more widely known when people started associating it with jazz musicians with a restrained and relaxed style in the 1940s. It then declined in popularity for a decade or two before regaining its position as the top all-purpose affirmative. Cool as a cucumber is also older than might be expected, going back to the mid 18th century.

Words that rhyme with cool

Banjul, befool, Boole, boule, boules, boulle, cagoule, drool, fool, ghoul, Joule, mewl, misrule, mule, O'Toole, pool, Poole, pul, pule, Raoul, rule, school, shul, sool, spool, Stamboul, stool, Thule, tomfool, tulle, you'll, yule

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cool

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