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Melting vs. Freezing Point: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 27, 2023
Melting point is the temperature at which a solid becomes a liquid; freezing point is the temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid.

Key Differences

Melting point is defined as the temperature at which a solid substance transitions to its liquid state. In contrast, freezing point is the temperature at which a liquid substance turns into a solid. Both represent a phase change, but in opposite directions.
Melting point is a critical property for materials like metals and plastics, indicating the temperature at which they become moldable or fluid. Freezing point, however, is essential in understanding how substances like water solidify, impacting things like climate and food preservation.
Substances with a high melting point require more heat to transform from solid to liquid, indicative of strong molecular bonds. Conversely, substances with a low freezing point can remain liquid at lower temperatures, useful in applications like antifreeze.
The melting point can be affected by factors like pressure and purity; impurities can lower a substance's melting point. Similarly, the freezing point is influenced by factors like solute concentration, with impurities generally lowering the freezing point of a solution.
In the context of the environment, melting points of ice and glaciers are crucial for understanding climate change. The freezing point, especially of seawater, is vital in studying oceanic and atmospheric interactions in polar regions.

Comparison Chart

Phase Change

Solid to liquid
Liquid to solid


Indicates when a substance becomes moldable
Indicates when a substance solidifies

Affected By

Pressure and purity
Solute concentration and impurities

Environmental Impact

Important in climate change studies
Crucial for understanding polar interactions

Molecular Bonds

High melting point indicates strong bonds
Low freezing point indicates resistance to solidification

Melting and Freezing Point Definitions


Melting occurs when a substance reaches its melting point.
The melting of chocolate in your hand happens due to body heat.

Freezing Point

Freezing point is influenced by the purity of a substance.
The freezing point of saltwater is lower than pure water.


Melting is the process of a solid becoming a liquid.
The melting of ice into water is a common phase change.

Freezing Point

Freezing point is an exothermic process, releasing heat.
Freezing water releases heat into the environment.


Melting involves the breaking of molecular bonds in a solid.
Iron starts melting at high temperatures in a furnace.

Freezing Point

Freezing point is the temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid.
The freezing point of water is 0°C or 32°F.


Melting is an endothermic process requiring heat absorption.
Melting ice cubes absorb heat from the surrounding drink.

Freezing Point

Freezing point is a critical factor in climate studies.
The freezing point of seawater affects polar ice formation.


Melting is a phase transition critical in many industrial processes.
The melting of raw materials is essential in glass making.

Freezing Point

Freezing point signifies the solidification of a substance.
The freezing point of mercury is -38.83°C.


To be changed from a solid to a liquid state especially by the application of heat.


To dissolve
Sugar melts in water.


How is the freezing point determined?

The freezing point is the temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid.

Is the melting point the same for all substances?

No, different substances have different melting points.

Can impurities affect the melting point?

Yes, impurities often lower the melting point of a substance.

Why does salt lower the freezing point of water?

Salt disrupts water's molecular structure, lowering its freezing point.

What happens to molecular bonds during melting?

Molecular bonds in a solid loosen or break during melting.

Is the freezing point important in meteorology?

Yes, the freezing point is important in understanding weather and climate patterns.

Do all liquids have the same freezing point?

No, different liquids have varying freezing points.

Are melting and freezing points always at the same temperature?

For pure substances, the melting and freezing points are typically the same.

What defines the melting point of a substance?

The melting point is the temperature at which a solid turns into a liquid.

How does the melting point affect manufacturing processes?

The melting point determines the temperatures needed for processing materials like metals and plastics.

Can the melting point be used to identify a substance?

Yes, the melting point is a characteristic property used in substance identification.

Does pressure affect the freezing point?

Yes, pressure can influence the freezing point of a substance.

Is melting always a slow process?

The speed of melting varies based on the substance and environmental conditions.

Can melting point data predict climate change?

Melting points of polar ice can provide insights into climate change trends.

Why is the freezing point important in road safety?

Understanding the freezing point of water helps in managing icy road conditions.

How do additives affect the melting point?

Additives can lower or raise the melting point of a substance.

Can the freezing point be negative?

Yes, some substances have freezing points below 0°C.

Is the freezing point relevant in chemical analysis?

Yes, the freezing point is used in characterizing and analyzing chemical compounds.

What role does the freezing point play in food preservation?

The freezing point is crucial in determining the storage conditions for preserving food.

Does altitude affect the freezing point of water?

Yes, altitude can affect the freezing point due to changes in atmospheric pressure.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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