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Chill vs. Freeze: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 26, 2023
Chill means to cool without freezing, whereas freeze means to cool a substance below its freezing point, turning it solid.

Key Differences

Chill and freeze refer to different states of lowering temperature, with chill implying a cooling process not leading to solidification and freeze resulting in the solidification due to extreme cold. To chill is to subject something to cold temperatures to make it cool, but not harden, such as chilling a drink in the refrigerator. In contrast, to freeze means to lower the temperature of a substance below its freezing point, causing it to turn solid, as water does when it forms ice.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
The intensity of cold required is a key difference between chill and freeze. Chilling generally involves exposure to cool temperatures, such as placing food in a refrigerator to preserve it, while not making it solid. On the other hand, freezing necessitates a substance reaching or going below its freezing point, typically involving much colder conditions like those in a freezer, which causes a change in the state of matter of the substance from liquid to solid.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
Chill and freeze also have diverse applications. Chilling is commonly used in culinary contexts to refer to the cooling of food or drinks to a desirable temperature, usually above the freezing point. For example, one might chill a bottle of wine before serving. Freeze, conversely, is more versatile, applicable in scientific, meteorological, and culinary contexts, where it denotes the process of becoming solid due to low temperatures, like freezing rain or frozen food.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
Furthermore, chill and freeze are used metaphorically in everyday language, depicting different levels of severity. A ‘chill’ atmosphere may imply a relaxed or slightly cold environment, while to ‘freeze’ might suggest an inability to move or act, often due to fear or shock, portraying a more intense or severe condition.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Comparison Chart

State of Matter

Does not change the state of matter; remains liquid.
Changes the state of matter, typically liquid to solid.
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Sep 26, 2023
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Temperature Range

Involves lower temperatures but above freezing point.
Involves temperatures at or below the freezing point.
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Sep 26, 2023

Applications

Predominantly culinary, for cooling food and drinks.
Diverse; in culinary, scientific, and meteorological contexts.
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Sep 26, 2023

Metaphorical Use

Implies relaxation or mild cold.
Suggests immobility or inaction, usually due to shock or fear.
Sara Rehman
Sep 26, 2023

Intensity

Involves less intense cold.
Involves more intense cold, enough to solidify substances.
Sara Rehman
Sep 26, 2023

Chill and Freeze Definitions

Chill

Chill can also mean to relax or to spend time without any stress.
I prefer to chill at home during weekends.
Janet White
Sep 26, 2023
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Freeze

Freeze refers to the act of causing something to be held motionless.
When he saw the ghost, he seemed to freeze in place.
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Sep 26, 2023

Chill

It can describe causing something to become dispassionate or less ardent.
His arrogance put a chill on the conversation.
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Sep 26, 2023

Freeze

To pass from the liquid to the solid state by loss of heat.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Chill can signify a feeling of fear or apprehension.
The sight of the haunted house sent a chill down my spine.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 26, 2023

Freeze

To acquire a surface or coat of ice from cold
The lake froze over in January. Bridges freeze before the adjacent roads.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A moderate but penetrating coldness.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To become clogged or jammed because of the formation of ice
The pipes froze in the basement.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A sensation of coldness, often accompanied by shivering and pallor of the skin.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To be at that degree of temperature at which ice forms
It may freeze tonight.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A checking or dampening of enthusiasm, spirit, or joy
Bad news that put a chill on the celebration.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To be killed or harmed by cold or frost
They almost froze to death. Mulch keeps garden plants from freezing.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A sudden numbing fear or dread.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To be or feel uncomfortably cold
Aren't you freezing without a coat?.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Moderately cold; chilly
A chill wind.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To become fixed, stuck, or attached by or as if by frost
The lock froze up with rust.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Not warm and friendly; distant
A chill greeting.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To stop functioning properly, usually temporarily
My computer screen froze when I opened the infected program.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Discouraging; dispiriting
“Chill penury repressed their noble rage” (Thomas Gray).
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To become motionless or immobile, as from surprise or attentiveness
I heard a sound and froze in my tracks.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(Slang) Calm or relaxed
“As my meditation routine grew more stable...my already laid-back demeanor grew positively chill” (David Gelles).
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To become unable to act or speak, as from fear
Froze in front of the audience.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To affect with or as if with cold.
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Freeze

To become rigid and inflexible; solidify
An opinion that froze into dogma.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To lower in temperature; cool.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To convert into ice.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To make discouraged; dispirit.
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Freeze

To cause ice to form upon.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(Metallurgy) To harden (a metallic surface) by rapid cooling.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To cause to congeal or stiffen from extreme cold
Winter cold that froze the ground.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To be seized with cold.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To preserve (foods, for example) by subjecting to freezing temperatures.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To become cold or set
Jelly that chills quickly.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To damage, kill, or make inoperative by cold or by the formation of ice.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(Metallurgy) To become hard by rapid cooling.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To make very cold; chill.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To calm down or relax. Often used with out.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To immobilize, as with fear or shock.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To pass time idly; loiter.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To chill with an icy or formal manner
Froze me with one look.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To spend time with someone in a relaxed manner; hang out together.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To stop the motion or progress of
The negotiations were frozen by the refusal of either side to compromise.
Froze the video in order to discuss the composition of the frame.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A moderate, but uncomfortable and penetrating coldness.
There was a chill in the air.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To fix (prices or wages, for example) at a given or current level.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A sudden penetrating sense of cold, especially one that causes a brief trembling nerve response through the body; the trembling response itself; often associated with illness: fevers and chills, or susceptibility to illness.
Close the window or you'll catch a chill.
I felt a chill when the wind picked up.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To prohibit further manufacture or use of.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

An uncomfortable and numbing sense of fear, dread, anxiety, or alarm, often one that is sudden and usually accompanied by a trembling nerve response resembling the body's response to biting cold.
Despite the heat, he felt a chill as he entered the crime scene.
The actor's eerie portrayal sent chills through the audience.
His menacing presence cast a chill over everyone.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To prevent or restrict the exchange, withdrawal, liquidation, or granting of by governmental action
Freeze investment loans during a depression.
Froze foreign assets held by US banks.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

An iron mould or portion of a mould, serving to cool rapidly, and so to harden, the surface of molten iron brought in contact with it..
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To anesthetize by chilling.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

The hardened part of a casting, such as the tread of a carriage wheel.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(Sports) To keep possession of (a ball or puck) so as to deny an opponent the opportunity to score.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A lack of warmth and cordiality; unfriendliness.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

The act of freezing.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Calmness; equanimity.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

The state of being frozen.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A sense of style; trendiness; savoir faire.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

A spell of cold weather; a frost.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Moderately cold or chilly.
A chill wind was blowing down the street.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

A restriction that forbids a quantity from rising above a given or current level
A freeze on city jobs.
A proposed freeze on the production of nuclear weapons.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Unwelcoming; not cordial.
Arriving late at the wedding, we were met with a chill reception.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Especially of a liquid, to become solid due to low temperature.
The lake froze solid.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(slang) Calm, relaxed, easygoing.
The teacher is really chill and doesn't care if you use your phone during class.
Paint-your-own ceramics studios are a chill way to express yourself while learning more about your date's right brain.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(transitive) To lower something's temperature to the point that it freezes or becomes hard.
Don't freeze meat twice.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(slang) "Cool"; meeting a certain hip standard or garnering the approval of a certain peer group.
That new movie was chill, man.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(intransitive) To drop to a temperature below zero degrees celsius, where water turns to ice.
It didn't freeze this winter, but last winter was very harsh.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(slang) Okay, not a problem.
Sorry about that. —It's chill.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To be affected by extreme cold.
It's freezing in here!
Don't go outside wearing just a t-shirt; you'll freeze!
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(transitive) To lower the temperature of something; to cool.
Chill before serving.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(intransitive) (of machines and software) To come to a sudden halt, stop working (functioning).
Since the last update, the program freezes after a few minutes of use.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

(intransitive) To become cold.
In the wind he chilled quickly.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(intransitive) (of people and other animals) To stop (become motionless) or be stopped due to attentiveness, fear, surprise, etc.
Despite all of the rehearsals, I froze as soon as I got on stage.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To harden a metal surface by sudden cooling.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(transitive) To cause someone to become motionless.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To become hard by rapid cooling.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(figuratively) To lose or cause to lose warmth of feeling; to shut out; to ostracize.
Over time, he froze towards her, and ceased to react to her friendly advances.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To relax; to lie back.
Chill, man, we've got a whole week to do it; no sense in getting worked up.
The new gym teacher really has to chill or he's gonna blow a gasket.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To cause loss of animation or life in, from lack of heat; to give the sensation of cold to; to chill.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To "hang", hang out; to spend time with another person or group.
Hey, we should chill this weekend.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(transitive) To prevent the movement or liquidation of a person's financial assets
The court froze the criminal's bank account.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To smoke marijuana.
On Friday night do you wanna chill?
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Of prices, spending etc., to keep at the same level, without any increase.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To discourage, depress.
Censorship chills public discourse.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(Internet) To prevent from showing any visible change.
Some websites, such as YouTube, deliberately freeze the view count, intended to deter attempts to game the system.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A moderate but disagreeable degree of cold; a disagreeable sensation of coolness, accompanied with shivering.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

A period of intensely cold weather.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A sensation of cold with convulsive shaking of the body, pinched face, pale skin, and blue lips, caused by undue cooling of the body or by nervous excitement, or forming the precursor of some constitutional disturbance, as of a fever.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

A halt of a regular operation.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A check to enthusiasm or warmth of feeling; discouragement; as, a chill comes over an assembly.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(computer) The state when either a single computer program, or the whole system ceases to respond to inputs.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

An iron mold or portion of a mold, serving to cool rapidly, and so to harden, the surface of molten iron brought in contact with it.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

(curling) A precise draw weight shot where a delivered stone comes to a stand-still against a stationary stone, making it nearly impossible to knock out.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

The hardened part of a casting, as the tread of a car wheel.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

A block on pay rises or on the hiring of new employees etc.
A hiring freeze;
A pay freeze
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Moderately cold; tending to cause shivering; chilly; raw.
Noisome winds, and blasting vapors chill.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

A frieze.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Affected by cold.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

The act of congealing, or the state of being congealed.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Characterized by coolness of manner, feeling, etc.; lacking enthusiasm or warmth; formal; distant; as, a chill reception.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To become congealed by cold; to be changed from a liquid to a solid state by the abstraction of heat; to be hardened into ice or a like solid body.
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Discouraging; depressing; dispiriting.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To become chilled with cold, or as with cold; to suffer loss of animation or life by lack of heat; as, the blood freezes in the veins.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To strike with a chill; to make chilly; to cause to shiver; to affect with cold.
When winter chilled the day.
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To congeal; to harden into ice; to convert from a fluid to a solid form by cold, or abstraction of heat.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To check enthusiasm or warmth of feeling of; to depress; to discourage.
Every thought on God chills the gayety of his spirits.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

To cause loss of animation or life in, from lack of heat; to give the sensation of cold to; to chill.
A faint, cold fear runs through my veins,That almost freezes up the heat of life.
A railroad which had a London connection must not be allowed to freeze out one that had no such connection.
It is sometimes a long time before a player who is frozen out can get into a game again.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To produce, by sudden cooling, a change of crystallization at or near the surface of, so as to increase the hardness; said of cast iron.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

The withdrawal of heat to change something from a liquid to a solid
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

To become surface-hardened by sudden cooling while solidifying; as, some kinds of cast iron chill to a greater depth than others.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Weather cold enough to cause freezing
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Coldness due to a cold environment
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

An interruption or temporary suspension of progress or movement;
A halt in the arms race
A nuclear freeze
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

An almost pleasurable sensation of fright;
A frisson of surprise shot through him
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Fixing (of prices or wages etc) at a particular level;
A freeze on hiring
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A sensation of cold that often marks the start of an infection and the development of a fever
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Change to ice;
The water in the bowl froze
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

A sudden numbing dread
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Freeze

Stop moving or become immobilized;
When he saw the police car he froze
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Depress or discourage;
The news of the city's surrender chilled the soldiers
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Be cold;
I could freeze to death in this office when the air conditioning is turned on
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Make cool or cooler;
Chill the food
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Cause to freeze;
Freeze the leftover food
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Loose heat;
The air cooled considerably after the thunderstorm
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Stop a process or a habit by imposing a freeze on it;
Suspend the aid to the war-torn country
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Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Uncomfortably cool;
A chill wind
Chilly weather
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Be very cold, below the freezing point;
It is freezing in Kalamazoo
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Chill refers to the act of cooling something to a lower temperature.
Let’s chill the soda before we drink it.
Harlon Moss
Sep 26, 2023

Freeze

Change from a liquid to a solid when cold;
Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Chill

Chill can mean a moderate but penetrating coldness.
There’s a chill in the air tonight.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Freeze

Prohibit the conversion or use of (assets);
Blocked funds
Freeze the assets of this hostile government
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Anesthetize by cold
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Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Suddenly behave coldly and formally;
She froze when she saw her ex-husband
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 30, 2023

Freeze

Freeze means to become hardened into ice or into a solid body.
The lake will freeze if the temperature drops any further.
Sara Rehman
Sep 26, 2023

Freeze

It can also mean to preserve something by rapidly chilling it.
You can freeze the leftovers for another day.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Freeze

Freeze denotes a halt or a stoppage, as in activities or operations.
The government decided to freeze all ongoing developmental projects.
Harlon Moss
Sep 26, 2023

Freeze

It describes being formally ordered to refrain from any action or activity.
The company's assets were subject to a freeze by the regulatory body.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

FAQs

Does freeze mean to turn something into a solid?

Yes, freeze typically means to solidify a substance by cooling it below its freezing point.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Is chill more intense than freeze in terms of temperature?

No, chill is less intense, and temperatures are above the freezing point, while freeze is more intense, leading to solidification.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Can chill be used to describe a relaxed state?

Yes, chill can describe a state of relaxation or a stress-free condition.
Sara Rehman
Sep 26, 2023

Does chill mean to make something solid?

No, chill means to cool something, but not to the point of becoming solid.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Does freeze imply a halt or stoppage in terms of actions?

Yes, freeze can imply a halt or stoppage in actions or operations, often due to external orders or conditions.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 26, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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