• synonyms


adjective, chill·i·er, chill·i·est.
  1. mildly cold or producing a sensation of cold; causing shivering; chill: a chilly breeze.
  2. feeling cold; sensitive to cold: Her hands were chilly.
  3. without warmth of feeling; cool: a chilly reply.
  4. producing or likely to produce a feeling of fear; frightening: He told a chilly story of ghosts and murder.
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  1. Also chill·i·ly. in a chill manner: The wind blew chilly.
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Origin of chilly

First recorded in 1560–70; chill + -y1
Related formschill·i·ness, noun
Can be confusedChile chili chilly

Synonym study

1. See cold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

crisp, brisk, freezing, breezy, icy, frosty, wintry, cool, unfriendly, cold, frigid, hostile, sharp, arctic, icebox, biting, fresh, glacial, nippy, penetrating

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.

British Dictionary definitions for chillier


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. causing or feeling cool or moderately cold
  2. without warmth; unfriendly
  3. (of people) sensitive to cold
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Derived Formschilliness, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper