• synonyms


noun Usually chilblains. Pathology.
  1. an inflammation of the hands and feet caused by exposure to cold and moisture.
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Origin of chilblain

First recorded in 1540–50; chill + blain
Also called pernio.
Related formschil·blained, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chilblain

Historical Examples

  • I did look like that in his studio, though the chilblain was itching.

    To Tell You the Truth

    Leonard Merrick

  • Jimmy would be sure to tell her that the first signs of a chilblain were approaching.

  • The beastly thing's alphabetical, and only gets to "Chilblain."

  • "Break the camera," Burnett Minor murmured to the chilblain.

    The Story of Louie

    Oliver Onions

  • "Yes," said he, in that cool way he has, which can be as irritating as a chilblain.

    The Motor Maid

    Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

British Dictionary definitions for chilblain


  1. pathol (usually plural) an inflammation of the fingers, toes, or ears, caused by prolonged exposure to moisture and coldTechnical name: pernio
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Derived Formschilblained, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from chill (n) + blain
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 chilblain


1540s, from chill (n.) + blain "inflamed swelling or sore on skin." Related: Chilblains.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chilblain in Medicine


  1. Erythema, itching, and burning, especially of the dorsa of the fingers and toes, and of the heels, nose, and ears, resulting from exposure to moist cold.erythema pernio
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.