- to pass or change from a frozen to a liquid or semiliquid state; melt.
- to be freed from the physical effect of frost or extreme cold (sometimes followed by out): Sit by the fire and thaw out.
- (of the weather) to become warm enough to melt ice and snow: It will probably thaw today.
- to become less formal, reserved, or aloof: He thawed at their kindness.
- to become less hostile or tense: International relations thawed.
- to cause to change from a frozen to a liquid or semiliquid state; melt.
- to free from the physical effect of frost or extreme cold; bring to a more normal temperature, especially to room temperature: I took the steaks out of the freezer and thawed them.
- to make less cold, formal, or reserved.
- to make less tense or hostile.
- the act or process of thawing.
- the act or fact of becoming less formal, reserved, or aloof.
- a reduction or easing in tension or hostility.
- (in winter or in areas where freezing weather is the norm) weather warm enough to melt ice and snow.
- a period of such weather: We had a two-week thaw in January.
- the thaw, the first day in the year when ice in harbors, rivers, etc., breaks up or loosens enough to begin flowing to the sea, allowing navigation: The Anchorage thaw came on May 18th.
Origin of thaw
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for thaw
After a half-century of frigid relations, the U.S. and Cuba have agreed to a thaw as the result of 18 months of secret talks.Up To Speed: The Cuba Embargo
December 18, 2014
The thaw between Washington and Cuba finally begins to close a chapter of the Cold War.Did The U.S.-Cuba Deal Help Drive A Rebel Ceasefire in Colombia?
December 18, 2014
The issue can be complicated by a thaw followed by a freeze, or by pre-existing ice.As de Blasio Loses Roker, Call In the Weather Detective
February 14, 2014
And so the election arrives with no thaw in relations between the Yingluck and Suthep camps.Thai Election Not Likely To Resolve Protests
February 1, 2014
But despite these private signals and messages, the relationship may not be ready for a thaw.Raul Castro Reaches Out to Obama, But Don’t Call It a Thaw
Eli Lake, Josh Rogin
December 11, 2013
He knew that his case was hopeless, and he would not thaw even to the priest.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
In sheltered spots the glass rose as high as 31, and symptoms of a thaw appeared.The Field of Ice
But with March came a thaw, with mild weather and fogs and rain.The Fat and the Thin
"That thaw was a weather-breeder, sure enough," observed Captain Jerry.
The thaw had turned to a light rain and the Captain carried an umbrella.
- to melt or cause to melt from a solid frozen statethe snow thawed
- to become or cause to become unfrozen; defrost
- (intr) to be the case that the ice or snow is meltingit's thawing fast
- (intr) to become more sociable, relaxed, or friendly
- the act or process of thawing
- a spell of relatively warm weather, causing snow or ice to melt
- an increase in relaxation or friendliness
Word Origin and History for thaw
Old English þawian, from Proto-Germanic *thawojanan (cf. Old Norse þeyja, Middle Low German doien, Dutch dooien, Old High German douwen, German tauen "to thaw"), from PIE root *ta- "to melt, dissolve" (cf. Sanskrit toyam "water," Ossetic thayun "to thaw," Welsh tawadd "molten," Doric Greek takein "to melt, waste, be consumed," Old Irish tam "pestilence," Latin tabes "a melting, wasting away, putrefaction," Old Church Slavonic tajati "to melt"). Related: Thawed; thawing.
c.1400, from thaw (v.). Figurative sense of "relaxation of political harshness or hostility" is recorded from 1950, an image from the "Cold War."