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Definition: ice cold, icy.


Dated back to the 1600’s, gelid stems from the Latin gelidus which, in turn, originates from the Latin gelum, meaning frost or intense cold.

Why this word?

Looks like cold and gelid are quite similar; even if they were- having a synonym for ‘cold’ is great, but really they aren’t. ‘Cold’ represents everything and anything that is not warm, but gelid is a much more intense and severe degree of cold as the word ‘ice’ is inherent within it. You may now say that gelid is the same as frozen, but this too would be a mistake as frozen is already a completely different situation. When it comes to things, a gelid lake and a frozen lake are one of the same. But when coming to describe your own situation, frozen is an exaggeration (if you were indeed frozen- you could not utter this complaint!) while gelid is an adjective you can indeed use, and would mean that you are colder than cold, you are gelid.

How to use gelid?

You can simply use it as a synonym for ‘cold’, but you must make sure it is colder then cold when you say it, otherwise just use the frozen exaggeration.

Weather is known to be gelid, so is your state of being, but people can also be gelid. If the adjective ‘cold’ is not enough to describe someone’s cold heart or nature, gelid would do great.


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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