• synonyms


[frawst-bahyt, frost-]
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  1. injury to any part of the body after excessive exposure to extreme cold, sometimes progressing from initial redness and tingling to gangrene.
verb (used with object), frost·bit, frost·bit·ten, frost·bit·ing.
  1. to injure by frost or extreme cold.

Origin of frostbite

First recorded in 1605–15; frost + bite
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for frostbite

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Except for a touch of frostbite on his toes and fingers, Barrent was all right.

  • Pymia and frostbite were the other chief causes of mortality.

    Under the Red Crescent

    Charles S. Ryan

  • Some typical cases of frostbite were grotesque in their ghastliness.

    Under the Red Crescent

    Charles S. Ryan

  • For this reason we believe that scurvy may predispose to frostbite.

    Scurvy Past and Present

    Alfred Fabian Hess

  • They had not been able to frostbite her yet because she had been too young; but they would get her presently.

    The Pastor's Wife

    Elizabeth von Arnim

British Dictionary definitions for frostbite


  1. destruction of tissues, esp those of the fingers, ears, toes, and nose, by freezing, characterized by tingling, blister formation, and gangrene
  2. NZ a type of small sailing dinghy
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

Word Origin and History for frostbite


also frost-bite, 1813, from frost (n.) + bite (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

frostbite in Medicine


  1. Injury or destruction of skin and underlying tissue, most often that of the nose, ears, fingers, or toes, resulting from prolonged exposure to freezing or subfreezing temperatures.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

frostbite in Science


  1. Damage to a part of the body as a result of exposure to freezing temperatures. It is caused by a loss of blood supply and the formation of ice crystals in the affected body part.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.