: extremely cold : icy
Did You Know?
Gelid first appeared in English late in the 16th century, coming to our language from Latin gelidus, which ultimately derives from the noun gelu, meaning “frost” or “cold.” (The noun gelatin, which can refer to an edible jelly that undergoes a cooling process as part of its formation, comes from a related Latin word: gelare, meaning “to freeze.”) Gelid is used to describe anything of extremely cold temperature (as in “the gelid waters of the Arctic Ocean”), but the word can also be used figuratively to describe a person with a cold demeanor (as in “the criminal’s gelid stare”).
“A fleet of military aircraft and navy and merchant ships continue searching the gelid waters north of Antarctica for a Chilean Air Force cargo plane that went missing on Monday evening with 38 people on board.” — Pascale Bonnefoy and Austin Ramzy, The New York Times, 11 Dec. 2019
“Back at school, January is gelid. The roads around campus are two inches deep in slush left behind from a New Year’s Day snowstorm.” — Koren Zailckas, Smashed, 2005