• synonyms


[fraw-sting, fros-ting]
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  1. a sweet mixture, cooked or uncooked, for coating or filling cakes, cookies, and the like; icing.
  2. a dull or lusterless finish, as on metal or glass.
  3. a process of highlighting the hair by bleaching selected strands.
  4. a material used for decorative work, as signs, displays, etc., made from coarse flakes of powdered glass.
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  1. the frosting on the cake, something added to make a thing better or more desirable.Also icing on the cake.
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Origin of frosting

First recorded in 1610–20; frost + -ing1
Related formsnon·frost·ing, adjective


[frawst, frost]
  1. a degree or state of coldness sufficient to cause the freezing of water.
  2. Also called hoarfrost. a covering of minute ice needles, formed from the atmosphere at night upon the ground and exposed objects when they have cooled by radiation below the dew point, and when the dew point is below the freezing point.
  3. an opaque coating of tiny, white, granular ice particles, formed on the walls or contents of a freezer by the condensation of water vapor; rime.
  4. the act or process of freezing.
  5. coldness of manner or temperament: We noticed a definite frost in his greeting.
  6. Informal. a coolness between persons.
  7. Informal. something that meets with lack of enthusiasm, as a theatrical performance or party; failure; flop.
  8. a milk shake, frappe, or similar drink: a chocolate frost.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cover with frost.
  2. to give a frostlike surface to (glass, metal, etc.).
  3. to ice (a cake, cookies, etc.).
  4. to bleach selected strands of (a person's hair) in order to create highlights.
  5. to kill or injure by frost: a freezing rain that badly frosted the tomato plants.
  6. to make angry: I was frosted by his critical comment.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become covered with frost or freeze (often followed by up or over): The windshield has frosted over.
  2. (of varnish, paint, etc.) to dry with a film resembling frost.
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  1. degree of frost, British. the degree of temperature Fahrenheit below the freezing point: 10 degrees of frost is equivalent to 22°F.
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Origin of frost

before 900; Middle English, Old English frost, forst; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse frost; akin to freeze
Related formsfrost·less, adjectivefrost·like, adjectiveun·frost, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for frost

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

Related Words for frosting

glaze, topping, spread, covering

Examples from the Web for frosting

Contemporary Examples of frosting

Historical Examples of frosting

  • But the frosting, Signorina, the pretty pink and white frosting!

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • Return to top shelf for about two minutes, or until the frosting is browned.

  • The frosting gleams right, royally on that black hair of yours.


    Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

  • Oh, to-day is beautiful as—as—it's beautiful as frosting on a birthday-cake!

    The Trail of the Hawk

    Sinclair Lewis

  • In the window were rolls, and cookies, and buns, and little cakes with jam and frosting on them.


    Bertha B. Cobb

British Dictionary definitions for frosting


  1. a soft icing based on sugar and egg whites
  2. Also called: icing a sugar preparation, variously flavoured and coloured, for coating and decorating cakes, biscuits, etc
  3. a rough or matt finish on glass, silver, etc
  4. slang the practice of stealing a car while the owner has left it idling to defrost the windows and heat the engine
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  1. Sir David (Paradine). born 1939, British television presenter and executive, noted esp for political interviews
  2. Robert (Lee). 1874–1963, US poet, noted for his lyrical verse on country life in New England. His books include A Boy's Will (1913), North of Boston (1914), and New Hampshire (1923)
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  1. a white deposit of ice particles, esp one formed on objects out of doors at nightSee also hoarfrost
  2. an atmospheric temperature of below freezing point, characterized by the production of this deposit
  3. degrees below freezing point: eight degrees of frost indicates a temperature of either –8°C or 24°F
  4. informal something given a cold reception; failure
  5. informal coolness of manner
  6. the act of freezing
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  1. to cover or be covered with frost
  2. (tr) to give a frostlike appearance to (glass, etc), as by means of a fine-grained surface
  3. (tr) mainly US and Canadian to decorate (cakes, etc) with icing or frosting
  4. (tr) to kill or damage (crops, etc) with frost
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Derived Formsfrostlike, adjective

Word Origin for frost

Old English frost; related to Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old High German frost; see freeze
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 frosting


1610s as an action; 1756 as a substance; meaning "cake icing" is from 1858; verbal noun from frost (v.).

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Old English forst, frost "a freezing, becoming frozen, extreme cold," from Proto-Germanic *frusta- (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German frost, Middle Dutch and Dutch vorst), related to freosan "to freeze," from PIE *preus- "to freeze; burn" (see freeze (v.)). Both forms of the word were common in English till late 15c.; the triumph of frost may be due to its similarity to the forms in other Germanic languages.

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1630s, from frost (n.). Related: Frosted; frosting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

frosting in Medicine


  1. A deposit of minute ice crystals formed when water vapor condenses at a temperature below freezing.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

frosting in Science


  1. A deposit of tiny, white ice crystals on a surface. Frost forms through sublimation, when water vapor in the air condenses at a temperature below freezing. It gets its white color from tiny air bubbles trapped in the ice crystals. See more at dew point.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.