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Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English thowen, thawen, from Old English þāwian (to thaw), from Proto-Germanic *þawōną, *þawjaną (to thaw, melt), from Proto-Indo-European *teh₂- (to melt). Cognate with Scots thow (to thaw), West Frisian teie (to thaw, melt), Dutch dooien (to thaw), German tauen (to thaw), Swedish töa (to thaw), Icelandic þeyja (to thaw), Latin tābēs (melting, wasting away), Ancient Greek τήκω (tḗkō), Polish tajać (to thaw).


  • IPA(key): /θɔː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔː


thaw (third-person singular simple present thaws, present participle thawing, simple past and past participle thawed)

  1. (intransitive) To gradually melt, dissolve, or become fluid; to soften from frozen
    the ice thaws
  2. (intransitive) To become so warm as to melt ice and snow — said in reference to the weather, and used impersonally.
    It's beginning to thaw.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To grow gentle or genial.
    Her anger has thawed.
  4. (transitive) To gradually cause frozen things (such as earth, snow, ice) to melt, soften, or dissolve.


thaw (plural thaws)

  1. The melting of ice, snow, or other congealed matter; the resolution of ice, or the like, into the state of a fluid; liquefaction by heat of anything congealed by frost
  2. a warmth of weather sufficient to melt that which is frozen
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit






  1. Aspirate mutation of taw.