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[chil-ee] /ˈtʃɪl i/
adjective, chillier, chilliest.
mildly cold or producing a sensation of cold; causing shivering; chill:
a chilly breeze.
feeling cold; sensitive to cold:
Her hands were chilly.
without warmth of feeling; cool:
a chilly reply.
producing or likely to produce a feeling of fear; frightening:
He told a chilly story of ghosts and murder.
Also, chillily. in a chill manner:
The wind blew chilly.
Origin of chilly
First recorded in 1560-70; chill + -y1
Related forms
chilliness, noun
Can be confused
Chile, chili, chilly.
Synonym Study
1. See cold. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chillier
Historical Examples
  • You are conscious of growing chillier and chillier every moment.

    By-ways in Book-land William Davenport Adams
  • If Khartum had been chilly to the enthusiast, Alexandria was chillier.

    The Summons A.E.W. Mason
  • "chillier before morning, all right," I growled back, glad enough to hear a voice speaking to me as if it expected an answer.

  • Nevertheless the blain grew chillier and chillier until at last they were compelled to send for a physician.

    Bill the Minder W. Heath Robinson
  • The soft, summer breezes of the first few days had given place to keener, chillier air.

  • A soaking rain fell, and all the sahibs hailed 'rickshaws,—they call them 'ricks here,—and the wind was chillier than the rain.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • Every minute the room grew darker and chillier, every minute the silence grew more and more oppressive.

    Rutledge Miriam Coles Harris
  • He turned up the collar of his coat, as though preparing to face a chillier region, and went forward boldly as before.

    Max Katherine Cecil Thurston
  • The day was chillier than any had yet been, and a fire had been built in the deep fireplace of the living-room.

    The Wishing-Ring Man Margaret Widdemer
  • It was Christmas Eve, and the night being in a reminiscent mood, was chillier than usual.

British Dictionary definitions for chillier


adjective -lier, -liest
causing or feeling cool or moderately cold
without warmth; unfriendly
(of people) sensitive to cold
Derived Forms
chilliness, noun
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 chillier



1560s, "causing a sensation of cold," from chill (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "feeling coldish" is attested from 1610s; figurative use is recorded by 1841. Related: Chilliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for chillier



Wonderful; excellent; cool, neat: You're chilly. You're okay, Sarge (1980s+ Teenagers)

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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