Definition of frost in English:

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Pronunciation: /frɒst/


[mass noun]
1A deposit of small white ice crystals formed on the ground or other surfaces when the temperature falls below freezing: the lanes were glistening with frost it is not unusual for buds to be nipped by frost
More example sentences
  • The sky was a clear, pale blue now, and it seemed to be drawing what heat there was from the ground, leaving only frost and little patches of dry snow.
  • There was frost on the ground and a flurry of snow in the air as I set off from the car park and along the footpaths winding through woodlands and close to a meander of the River Calder.
  • Still there was no snow, but there was frost glittering on the ground.
1.1A weather condition or period of cold weather in which deposits of frost form: following two or three nights of hard frost, my garden is a wreck [count noun]: there have been several sharp frosts recently
More example sentences
  • Frequencies of tropical cyclones, heat-waves, bushfires and frosts are also linked to the Southern Oscillation.
  • This is especially useful if the garden is in a cold spot and prone to late frosts or if wet weather has made the soil claggy.
  • The weather has been fine enough but there have been very sharp frosts & bitterly cold wind.
cold snap, period of cold weather;
hoar frost, ground frost
informal freeze, freeze-up
1.2A person’s cold or unfriendly manner: Caroline was shocked to hear the frost in her brother’s voice
More example sentences
  • A sharp frost crept into relations on June 8, the day the votes were counted in the Nice Treaty referendum and the British general election.
  • Richard stood, giving Amy some papers, then left leaving the room with a cold frost.
  • The Englishwomen never appeared to exchange any words yesterday, but the frost between them made the NIA seem closer to Turin than the Bullring.
1.3 [in singular] British informal, dated A failure: even the state soirées were a frost


[with object]
1Cover (something) with or as if with frost; freeze: shop windows were still frosted over
More example sentences
  • Headed for the warmth of the Student Center and morning coffee, I notice that the display window maintained by the Fashion Design department is frosted over.
  • Steam puffed from the mouths of the quarterbacks as they barked out the plays, and from their teammates as they huffed each bone-chilling breath; at the end, Fisher's mustache was frosted over.
  • The room beyond the metal door was cold, explaining why the window of the door was frosted over (delayed reaction, understandable during these circumstances).
1.1 [no object] Become covered with small ice crystals: no one has managed to stop outdoor heat exchangers frosting up during winter
More example sentences
  • Add the rest of the ingredients in the order above and shake with loads of ice until the shaker frosts up.
  • At times it was so cold that they could see their equipment frosting up in front of them.
  • And off we toddled, me with my evening gin frosting in my hand, and Dolly with an air of great relief that the election was over, for today at least.
1.2Damage or otherwise affect as a result of frost.
2North American Decorate (a cake or biscuit) with icing: the cake Mama had just frosted
More example sentences
  • Benji whistled to himself as he headed towards the kitchen of his parents' bakery, tying on his apron and already smelling the sweet scent of a cake ready to be frosted.
  • Though he spends more time managing than frosting cakes these days, he still bakes most mornings.
  • Cookies that have been frosted with a butter cream type frosting cannot be stacked.


degrees of frost

British Degrees below freezing point: he insisted on inspecting troops in 23 degrees of frost
More example sentences
  • At Churchill an exposed thermometer registered 5.5 degrees F on Thursday morning, equal to 26.5 degrees of frost, and this was in a fairly sheltered position.
  • Given the plunging temperatures - they dropped to 18F on Christmas Day, or 14 degrees of frost - folk were seeking indoor entertainment.
  • And you can bet that this winter when you read ‘there was ten degrees of frost in Kendal at the weekend,’ it will be Fahrenheit, which has been invoked for maximum effect.



Example sentences
  • The morning couldn't have been better for his purposes: just over ten degrees, clear, bright, and frostless, with a light breeze from the east.
  • On frostless days in late winter, roots grow, sap rises, and new vegetative buds prime for action.
  • The water in the frostless refrigerators of today is piped into a pan beneath the refrigerator.


Old English frost, forst, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vorst and German Frost, also to freeze.

  • This is one of our earliest English words, recorded from the 8th century and related to freeze (Old English). Not until the 19th century do we start to hear of Jack Frost. The Sporting Magazine of 1826 recorded ruefully of the effects of frozen ground, ‘Jack Frost, however, put a veto on our morning's sport.’ See also ice

Words that rhyme with frost

accost, cost, lost, Prost, riposte

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: frost

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