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Cold vs. Cool: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Cold refers to low temperatures, often uncomfortably so, while cool describes moderately low temperatures, typically pleasant or refreshing.
Cold vs. Cool

Key Differences

Cold is used to describe a lower range of temperatures, often associated with a sense of discomfort or the need for warmth. Cool, in contrast, denotes temperatures that are lower than warm but not as low as cold, often perceived as refreshing.
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Nov 30, 2023
The term cold is often associated with winter and environments where additional warmth is necessary. Cool, however, is more associated with spring or fall, where the temperature is moderate and more comfortable.
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Nov 30, 2023
In subjective human perception, cold can imply a temperature that requires protective clothing or heating. On the other hand, cool is often used to describe a preferable and more comfortable temperature, especially after high heat.
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Nov 30, 2023
In terms of physical sensations, cold is often associated with shivering and the need to conserve heat. Cool, however, is associated with a pleasant reduction of warmth, without the extreme of coldness.
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Nov 30, 2023
When speaking metaphorically, cold can imply a lack of emotion or warmth in behavior, while cool can refer to a calm, composed, or even trendy demeanor.
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Nov 30, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Temperature Range

Lower, often near or below freezing
Moderately low, but not extreme
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Associated Seasons

Typically winter
Spring or fall
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Human Perception

Requires warmth, can be uncomfortable
Pleasant, comfortable after heat
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Physical Sensation

Shivering, conserving heat
Reduction of warmth, not extreme
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Metaphorical Use

Lack of emotion, distant
Calm, composed, trendy
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Cold and Cool Definitions

Cold

Cold describes very low temperatures.
The water was too cold for swimming.
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Cool

Cool can also mean trendy or fashionable.
That new café is really cool.
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Nov 30, 2023

Cold

Cold can imply an unemotional, distant demeanor.
Her response was cold and formal.
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Nov 30, 2023

Cool

Neither warm nor very cold; moderately cold
Fresh, cool water.
A cool autumn evening.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Cold means the absence or reduction of heat in an environment.
The room got cold after the heater broke.
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Cool

Giving or suggesting relief from heat
A cool breeze.
A cool blouse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Having a low temperature
Cold water.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Marked by calm self-control
A cool negotiator.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Being at a temperature that is less than what is required or what is normal
Cold oatmeal.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Marked by indifference, disdain, or dislike; unfriendly or unresponsive
A cool greeting.
Was cool to the idea of higher taxes.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Chilled by refrigeration or ice
Cold beer.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Of, relating to, or characteristic of colors, such as blue and green, that produce the impression of coolness.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Feeling no warmth; uncomfortably chilled
We were cold sitting by the drafty windows.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Knowledgeable or aware of the latest trends or developments
Spent all his time trying to be cool.
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Cold

Appearing to be dead; unconscious
Found him out cold on the floor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Excellent; first-rate
Has a cool sports car.
Had a cool time at the party.
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Cold

Dead
Was cold in his grave.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Acceptable; satisfactory
It's cool if you don't want to talk about it.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Lacking emotion; objective
Cold logic.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(Slang) Entire; full
Worth a cool million.
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Cold

Having little appeal to the senses or feelings
A cold decor.
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Cool

(Informal) In a casual manner; nonchalantly
Play it cool.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Designating or being in a tone or color, such as pale gray, that suggests little warmth.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To make less warm.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Not affectionate or friendly; aloof
A cold person.
A cold nod.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To make less ardent, intense, or zealous
Problems that soon cooled my enthusiasm for the project.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Exhibiting or feeling no enthusiasm
A cold audience.
A cold response to the new play.
A concert that left me cold.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(Physics) To reduce the molecular or kinetic energy of (an object).
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Devoid of sexual desire; frigid.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To become less warm
Took a dip to cool off.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Having lost all freshness or vividness through passage of time
Dogs attempting to catch a cold scent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To become calmer
Needed time for tempers to cool.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

So intense as to be almost uncontrollable
Cold fury.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

A cool place, part, or time
The cool of early morning.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Characterized by repeated failure, especially in a sport or competitive activity
The team fell into a slump of cold shooting.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

The state or quality of being cool.
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Cold

To an unqualified degree; totally
Was cold sober.
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Cool

Composure; poise
"Our release marked a victory. The nation had kept its cool" (Moorhead Kennedy).
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

With complete finality
We turned him down cold.
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Cool

Having a slightly low temperature; mildly or pleasantly cold.
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Cold

Without advance preparation or introduction
Took the exam cold and passed.
Walked in cold and got the new job.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Allowing or suggesting heat relief.
Linen has made cool and breathable clothing for millennia.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Relative lack of warmth
Cold slows down chemical reactions.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Of a color, in the range of violet to green.
If you have a reddish complexion, you should mainly wear cool colors.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

The sensation resulting from lack of warmth; chill.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Of a person, not showing emotion; calm and in control of oneself.
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Cold

A condition of low air temperature; cold weather
Went out into the cold and got a chill.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Unenthusiastic, lukewarm, skeptical.
His proposals had a cool reception.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

A viral infection characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the upper respiratory passages and usually accompanied by malaise, fever, chills, coughing, and sneezing. Also called common cold, coryza.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Calmly audacious.
In control as always, he came up with a cool plan.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(of a thing) Having a low temperature.
A cold wind whistled through the trees.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Applied facetiously to a sum of money, commonly as if to give emphasis to the largeness of the amount.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(of the weather) Causing the air to be cold.
The forecast is that it will be very cold today.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(informal) Of a person, knowing what to do and how to behave; considered popular by others.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(of a person or animal) Feeling the sensation of coldness, especially to the point of discomfort.
She was so cold she was shivering.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(informal) In fashion and fancy, part of or befitting the most leading trends and habits of the in crowd; originally hipster slang.
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Cold

Unfriendly; emotionally distant or unfeeling.
She shot me a cold glance before turning her back.
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Cool

(informal) Of an action, all right; acceptable; that does not present a problem.
Is it cool if I sleep here tonight?
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Dispassionate; not prejudiced or partisan; impartial.
Let's look at this tomorrow with a cold head.
He's a nice guy, but the cold facts say we should fire him.
The cold truth is that states rarely undertake military action unless their national interests are at stake.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(informal) Very interesting or exciting.
I think astronomy is really cool.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Completely unprepared; without introduction.
He was assigned cold calls for the first three months.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(informal) (followed by with) Able to tolerate; to be fine with.
I'm completely cool with my girlfriend leaving me.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Unconscious or deeply asleep; deprived of the metaphorical heat associated with life or consciousness.
I knocked him out cold.
After one more beer he passed out cold.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(informal) (of a pair of people) holding no grudge against one another; having no beef.
We're cool, right?
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(usually with "have" or "know" transitively) Perfectly, exactly, completely; by heart; down pat.
Practice your music scales until you know them cold.
Try both these maneuvers until you have them cold and can do them in the dark without thinking.
Rehearse your lines until you have them down cold.
Keep that list in front of you, or memorize it cold.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(sarcastic) (of an act or situation)'' annoying, irritating.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(usually with "have" transitively) Cornered; done for.
With that receipt, we have them cold for fraud.
Criminal interrogation. Initially they will dream up explanations faster than you could ever do so, but when they become fatigued, often they will acknowledge that you have them cold.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

A moderate or refreshing state of cold; moderate temperature of the air between hot and cold; coolness.
In the cool of the morning
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(obsolete) Not pungent or acrid.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

A calm temperament.
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Cold

(obsolete) Unexciting; dull; uninteresting.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

The property of being cool, popular or in fashion.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Affecting the sense of smell (as of hunting dogs) only feebly; having lost its odour.
A cold scent
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To lose heat, to get colder.
I like to let my tea cool before drinking it so I don't burn my tongue.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(obsolete) Not sensitive; not acute.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To make cooler, less warm.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Distant; said, in the game of hunting for some object, of a seeker remote from the thing concealed. Compare warm and hot.
You're cold … getting warmer … hot! You've found it!
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To become less intense, e.g. less amicable or passionate.
Relations cooled between the USA and the USSR after 1980.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(painting) Having a bluish effect; not warm in colour.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To make less intense, e.g. less amicable or passionate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(databases) Rarely used or accessed, and thus able to be relegated to slower storage.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(transitive) To kill.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(informal) Without compassion; heartless; ruthless.
I can't believe she said that...that was cold!
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Moderately cold; between warm and cold; lacking in warmth; producing or promoting coolness.
Fanned with cool winds.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(informal) Not radioactive.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Not ardent, warm, fond, or passionate; not hasty; deliberate; exercising self-control; self-possessed; dispassionate; indifferent; as, a cool lover; a cool debater.
For a patriot, too cool.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(firearm) Not loaded with a round of live ammunition.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Not retaining heat; light; as, a cool dress.
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Cold

Without electrical power being supplied.
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Cool

Manifesting coldness or dislike; chilling; apathetic; as, a cool manner.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

A condition of low temperature.
Come in, out of the cold.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Quietly impudent; negligent of propriety in matters of minor importance, either ignorantly or willfully; presuming and selfish; audacious; as, cool behavior.
Its cool stare of familiarity was intolerable.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

A harsh place; a place of abandonment.
The former politician was left out in the cold after his friends deserted him.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Applied facetiously, in a vague sense, to a sum of money, commonly as if to give emphasis to the largeness of the amount.
He had lost a cool hundred.
Leaving a cool thousand to Mr. Matthew Pocket.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(medicine) A common, usually harmless, viral illness, usually with congestion of the nasal passages and sometimes fever.
I caught a miserable cold and had to stay home for a week
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

A moderate state of cold; coolness; - said of the temperature of the air between hot and cold; as, the cool of the day; the cool of the morning or evening.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(slang) rheum, sleepy dust
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To make cool or cold; to reduce the temperature of; as, ice cools water.
Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

At a low temperature.
The steel was processed cold.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To moderate the heat or excitement of; to allay, as passion of any kind; to calm; to moderate.
We have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Without preparation.
The speaker went in cold and floundered for a topic.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To become less hot; to lose heat.
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,the whilst his iron did on the anvil cool.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

In a cold, frank, or realistically honest manner.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

To lose the heat of excitement or passion; to become more moderate.
I will not give myself liberty to think, lest I should cool.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Deprived of heat, or having a low temperature; not warm or hot; gelid; frigid.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

The quality of being cool;
The cool of early morning
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Cold

Lacking the sensation of warmth; suffering from the absence of heat; chilly; shivering; as, to be cold.
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Cool

Great coolness and composure under strain;
Keep your cool
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Cold

Not pungent or acrid.
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Cool

Make cool or cooler;
Chill the food
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Wanting in ardor, intensity, warmth, zeal, or passion; spiritless; unconcerned; reserved.
A cold and unconcerned spectator.
No cold relation is a zealous citizen.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Loose heat;
The air cooled considerably after the thunderstorm
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Unwelcome; disagreeable; unsatisfactory.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Lose intensity;
His enthusiasm cooled considerably
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Cold

Wanting in power to excite; dull; uninteresting.
What a deal of cold business doth a man misspend the better part of life in!
The jest grows cold . . . when in comes on in a second scene.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Neither warm or very cold; giving relief from heat;
A cool autumn day
A cool room
Cool summer dresses
Cool drinks
A cool breeze
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Affecting the sense of smell (as of hunting dogs) but feebly; having lost its odor; as, a cold scent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Marked by calm self-control (especially in trying circumstances); unemotional;
Play it cool
Keep cool
Stayed coolheaded in the crisis
The most nerveless winner in the history of the tournament
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Not sensitive; not acute.
Smell this business with a sense as coldAs is a dead man's nose.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

(color) inducing the impression of coolness; used especially of greens and blues and violets;
Cool greens and blues and violets
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Distant; - said, in the game of hunting for some object, of a seeker remote from the thing concealed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Psychologically cool and unenthusiastic; unfriendly or unresponsive or showing dislike;
Relations were cool and polite
A cool reception
Cool to the idea of higher taxes
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Having a bluish effect. Cf. Warm, 8.
He was slain in cold blood after the fight was over.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Used of a number or sum and meaning without exaggeration or qualification;
A cool million bucks
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

The relative absence of heat or warmth.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Fashionable and attractive at the time; often skilled or socially adept;
He's a cool dude
That's cool
Mary's dress is really cool
It's not cool to arrive at a party too early
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

The sensation produced by the escape of heat; chilliness or chillness.
When she saw her lord prepared to part,A deadly cold ran shivering to her heart.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Cool describes moderately low temperatures.
The evening was cool and pleasant.
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Nov 30, 2023

Cold

A morbid state of the animal system produced by exposure to cold or dampness; a catarrh.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Cool refers to a slightly chilly but comfortable state.
A cool breeze blew through the window.
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Nov 30, 2023

Cold

To become cold.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Cool can imply calmness and composure.
He remained cool under pressure.
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Nov 30, 2023

Cold

A mild viral infection involving the nose and respiratory passages (but not the lungs);
Will they never find a cure for the common cold?
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Oct 19, 2023

Cool

Cool means moderately cold, not excessively so.
The water was cool but refreshing.
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Nov 30, 2023

Cold

The absence of heat;
The coldness made our breath visible
Come in out of the cold
Cold is a vasoconstrictor
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

The sensation produced by low temperatures;
He shivered from the cold
The cold helped clear his head
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Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Used of physical coldness; having a low or inadequate temperature or feeling a sensation of coldness or having been made cold by e.g. ice or refrigeration;
A cold climate
A cold room
Dinner has gotten cold
Cold fingers
If you are cold, turn up the heat
A cold beer
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Extended meanings; especially of psychological coldness; without human warmth or emotion;
A cold unfriendly nod
A cold and unaffectionate person
A cold impersonal manner
Cold logic
The concert left me cold
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Having lost freshness through passage of time;
A cold trail
Dogs attempting to catch a cold scent
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

(color) giving no sensation of warmth;
A cold bluish gray
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Marked by errorless familiarity;
Had her lines cold before rehearsals started
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

No longer new; uninteresting;
Cold (or stale) news
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

So intense as to be almost uncontrollable;
Cold fury gripped him
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Sexually unresponsive;
Was cold to his advances
A frigid woman
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Without compunction or human feeling;
In cold blood
Cold-blooded killing
Insensate destruction
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Feeling or showing no enthusiasm;
A cold audience
A cold response to the new play
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Unconscious from a blow or shock or intoxication;
The boxer was out cold
Pass out cold
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Of a seeker; far from the object sought
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Lacking the warmth of life;
Cold in his grave
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cold

Cold refers to a lack of warmth or heat.
He felt cold standing outside in the snow.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Cold

Cold can also refer to common viral infections.
She stayed home with a bad cold.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does cold mean in temperature terms?

In temperature terms, cold refers to very low temperatures, often near or below freezing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Does cool always mean comfortable temperatures?

Cool generally implies comfortable temperatures, but personal preference can vary.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Is cold weather typically associated with any particular season?

Cold weather is typically associated with winter.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

What does cool mean in social terms?

In social terms, cool often means trendy, fashionable, or composed under stress.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

How does cold affect physical sensation?

Cold can lead to physical sensations like shivering and the need to conserve body heat.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Can cold imply a need for protective clothing?

Yes, cold temperatures often imply a need for protective clothing to maintain warmth.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

What does "cool" mean in the context of technology or gadgets?

It often refers to something advanced, innovative, or cutting-edge.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Can "cool" describe a positive reaction to something impressive or exciting?

Yes, it can express admiration or approval.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

What is a "cooling system" in engineering?

A "cooling system" is a mechanism used to dissipate heat and maintain optimal temperatures.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

How is cool different from cold in weather?

Cool weather is moderately low in temperature and is generally more comfortable than cold weather.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Can cold be used to describe a person's demeanor?

Yes, cold can describe a person's demeanor as unemotional or distant.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

During which seasons is cool weather common?

Cool weather is common during spring and fall.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Is a cold often related to illness?

Yes, the term cold is commonly used to refer to a viral upper respiratory infection.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Can "cold" also mean lacking enthusiasm or passion?

Yes, it can describe a lack of enthusiasm or passion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

What is a "cold front" in meteorology?

A "cold front" is the leading edge of a colder air mass displacing warmer air.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

How can you alleviate the feeling of being "cold"?

You can dress warmly, use blankets, or seek shelter from the cold.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Can cool refer to a person's behavior?

Yes, cool can refer to someone's calm and composed behavior.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

How can you maintain a "cool" demeanor in stressful situations?

By staying composed, taking deep breaths, and focusing on solutions rather than panicking.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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