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[chil] /tʃɪl/
coldness, especially a moderate but uncomfortably penetrating coldness:
the chill of evening.
a sensation of cold, usually with shivering:
She felt a slight chill from the open window.
a feeling of sudden fear, anxiety, or alarm.
sudden coldness of the body, as during the cold stage of an ague:
fevers and chills.
a depressing influence or sensation:
His presence cast a chill over everyone.
lack of warmth of feeling; unfriendliness; coolness.
Foundry. an inserted object or a surface in a mold capable of absorbing large amounts of heat, used to harden the surface of a casting or to increase its rate of solidification at a specific point.
bloom1 (def 12).
moderately cold; tending to cause shivering; chilly:
a chill wind.
shivering with or affected by cold; chilly.
depressing or discouraging:
chill prospects.
Slang. cool (def 14).
unduly formal; unfriendly; chilly:
a chill reception.
verb (used without object)
to become cold:
The earth chills when the sun sets.
to be seized with a chill; shiver with cold or fear.
Foundry. (of a casting) to become hard on the surface by contact with a chill or chills.
Slang. to calm down; relax (often followed by out).
verb (used with object)
to affect with cold; make chilly:
The rain has chilled me to the bone.
to make cool:
Chill the wine before serving.
to depress; discourage; deter:
The news chilled his hopes.
Foundry. to harden the surface of (a casting) by casting it in a mold having a chill or chills.
bloom1 (def 22).
Slang. to kill; murder.
take a chill pill, Slang. See chill pill (def 2).
Origin of chill
before 900; Middle English chile, Old English ci(e)le, cele coolness; akin to gelid, cool, cold
Related forms
chillingly, adverb
chillness, noun
overchill, adjective
overchill, verb
prechill, verb (used with object)
unchilled, adjective
well-chilled, adjective
9. See cold. 13. cold, aloof, hostile, stiff. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chill out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was impossible for her to keep the chill out of her voice, to speak with other than the pride and aloofness of her class.

  • The yarb will take the chill out of ye better than the pizen of the Dutchman.

    Holiday Tales W. H. H. Murray
  • He had taken with him a bottle of Extra Reserve rum to drive, as he declared, the chill out of his bones.

    Stolen Treasure Howard Pyle
  • A few hot drinks would take some of the chill out of this poor fellow.

    Storm-Bound Alan Douglas
  • Once again I had cause to bless him for taking the chill out of the domestic atmosphere.

    My Little Sister Elizabeth Robins
British Dictionary definitions for chill out

chill out

(intransitive, adverb) to relax, esp after energetic dancing or a spell of hard work
suitable for relaxation after energetic dancing or hard work: a chill-out area, chill-out music


a moderate coldness
a sensation of coldness resulting from a cold or damp environment, or from a sudden emotional reaction
a feverish cold
a check on enthusiasm or joy
a metal plate placed in a sand mould to accelerate cooling and control local grain growth
another name for bloom1 (sense 9)
another word for chilly
to make or become cold
(transitive) to cool or freeze (food, drinks, etc)
  1. to depress (enthusiasm, etc)
  2. to discourage
(transitive) to cool (a casting or metal object) rapidly in order to prevent the formation of large grains in the metal
(intransitive) (slang, mainly US) to relax; calm oneself
See also chill out
Derived Forms
chilling, adjective
chillingly, adverb
chillness, noun
Word Origin
Old English ciele; related to calan to cool, Latin gelidus icy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chill out



Old English ciele, cele "cold, coolness, chill, frost," from Proto-Germanic *kal- "to be cold," from PIE root *gel- "cold" (see cold). According to OED, the word seems to have been obsolete after c.1400 (displaced by cold) and the modern use is a back-formation since c.1600 from the verb.


late 14c., intransitive, "to feel cold, grow cold;" c.1400, transitive, "to make cold," from chill (n.). Related: Chilled; chilling; chillingly. Figurative use from late 14c. Meaning "hang out" first recorded 1985; from earlier chill out "relax" (1979).

Sheila E. sizzles in the new flick, Krush Groove, but some New York critics couldn't groove with it because many of the terms are unfamiliar to them. Examples: breakin' out (slang for leaving), chill (for cool down) and death (for something that's really good). ["Jet," Nov. 11, 1985]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chill out in Medicine

chill (chĭl)
A feeling of cold, with shivering and pallor, sometimes accompanied by an elevation of temperature in the interior of the body.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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chill out in Culture

chill out definition

To not get so excited; to take it easy: “Hey, chill out, we'll get there sooner or later.” This phrase can also mean to relax; to have a good time: “On my vacation I just want to chill out on the beach with a good book.” It is often shortened to the imperative chill: “Chill! We can do without your bad behavior.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for chill out

chill out

verb phrase

To relax; calm oneself; cool out, kick back: He offers her a lit joint. ''Chill out,'' he says/ She has become synonymous with bingeing celebrities who need to chill out (1980s+ Teenagers)



(also chilled) Excellent; wonderful; cool, fresh, rad: A ''chill'' outfit for a girl is tight Sergio Valente or Tale Lord jeans/ The top accolades (in 1986) include cool, chill or chilly, although froody and hondo also get high marks (1980s+ Teenagers)


A glass or can of beer (1960s+ Students)


  1. To render someone unconscious; KNOCK someone OUT: She chilled him with a kick on the chin (1930s+ Boxing)
  2. To kill; murder: Remember the night Stein got chilled out front? (1930s+)
  3. To quench enthusiasm and amiability abruptly; snub: He chilled me with a glance (1920s+)
  4. chill out: As my daughter often tells me, I need to learn how to ''chill'' (1970s+ Students)
  5. To stay or become calm; relax; cool it, kick back •Often a command or exhortation (1980s+ Students)

Related Terms

put the chill on someone

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with chill out

chill out

Calm down or relax, as in Don't let it bother you—just chill out, or Rex decided to come home and chill out for a while. [ ; 1970s. ]
Also see: cool it
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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