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Etymology 1[edit]

chill +‎ -y.


chilly (comparative chillier, superlative chilliest)

  1. Cold enough to cause discomfort.
    • [1733], William Ellis, “The Nature and Improvement of Rye”, in Chiltern and Vale Farming Explained, [], London: Printed for the author [] [a]nd sold by W. Meadows, []; H. Walthoe, []; J. Parker, [], →OCLC, page 258:
      [] The Aſparagus grew; but in three or four Years complained, by coming up ſmall; occaſioned by the chilly Effluvia, that proceeded from the Water lodg'd at the bottom of the Pit; []
    • 1784, Thomas Pennant, “Quadrupeds of Scandinavia [marginal note]”, in Arctic Zoology, volume I (Introduction; Class I. Quadrupeds.), London: Printed by Henry Hughs, →OCLC, page LXXIV:
      The Alps, the woods, and marſhes of the vaſt region of Scandinavia (for I will conſider it in the great) give ſhelter to numbers of quadrupeds unknown to Britain. Thoſe who brave the ſeverity of the extreme north of this country are diſtinguiſhed by the addition of the Lapland name. The Elk, Nº 3 of this Work, is found in many parts: the Rein, Godde, Nº 4, is confined to the chillieſt places: []
    • 1792 May, “a Southern Faunist” [pseudonym], “The Chronicle of the Seasons”, in Sylvanus Urban [pseudonym; Edward Cave], editor, The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Historical Chronicle, volume LXII, part I, number V, London: Printed by John Nichols, [] and sold by Eliz[abeth] Newbery, [], →OCLC, page 403, column 1:
      The fogs were ſucceeded by ſhowery weather, which promoted vegetation as much as the chilly nights would permit; but, after a ſhort time, theſe chilly nights were accompanied with chilly days, and the progreſs of Nature received a ſecond check, though not unfavourable in the main.
    • 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Two. The First of the Three Spirits.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, page 50:
      There was an earthy savour in the air, a chilly bareness in the place, which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle-light, and not too much to eat.
    • 1935, Howard Lindsay, She Loves Me Not: A Comedy in Two Acts: Dramatized from Edward Hope’s Novel, French’s standard library edition, New York, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Calif.: Samuel French, Inc., →OCLC, Act I, scene II.B, page 15:
      Nothing like a slock of cake on a chilly evening, is there?
  2. Feeling uncomfortably cold.
    I’m getting rather chilly over here – could you shut the window please?
    • 1719 May 6 (Gregorian calendar), [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, [], 3rd edition, London: [] W[illiam] Taylor [], published 1719, →OCLC, page 101:
      June 18. Rain'd all Day, and I ſtay'd within. I thought at this Time the Rain felt Cold, and I was ſomething chilly, which I knew was not uſual in that Latitude.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter VII, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. [], volume III, London: [] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, →OCLC, page 169:
      And now, behold, with the first imagination of danger, or, if you will, the first mighty and terrific trial of your courage, you shrink away, and are content to be handed down as men who had not strength enough to endure cold and peril; and so, poor souls, they were chilly and returned to their warm fire-sides.
  3. (figuratively) Distant and cool; unfriendly.
    She gave me a chilly look when I made the suggestion.
    • 1930, Olav Duun; Arthur G. Chater, transl., “The Feast Draws Nigh”, in The People of Juvik: A Saga of Modern Norway: Translated from the Norwegian, volume III, New York, N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, →OCLC, page 136:
      Jens gave a little chilly laugh and took his hand: "I shan't ever forget the day I moved here, no, you can bet your life!—and now I've got to see if I can't move in here once more."
    • 1994, Stephanie Laurens, chapter 1, in Impetuous Innocent, 6th Australian paperback edition, Chatswood, N.S.W.: Mira Books, published 2012, →ISBN:
      Lord Alton's black brows rose. His features became perceptibly harder, his blue gaze perceptibly chillier. "Have you taken leave of your senses, Duckett?"
    • 2008, Peter L. Murray, “Reception and Transmission of Procedural Law in the United States: A Two-way Street?”, in Masahisa Deguchi and Marcel Storme, editors, The Reception and Transmission of Civil Procedural Law in the Global Society: Legislative and Legal Educational Assistance to Other Countries in Procedural Law, Antwerp; Apeldoorn: Maklu Publishers, →ISBN, page 328:
      An example of an effort to extend American civil procedure into the international arena is the history of the American Law Institute/Unidroit Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure. When the American Law Institute first attempted to address transnational civil procedure in the early 1990's, it came up with a set of Rules of Transnational Civil Procedure based on the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Foreign jurists gave this first effort a chilly reception.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See chili.


chilly (plural chillies)

  1. Alternative spelling of chili.
    • 1874, Finlay Dun, “Peppers”, in Veterinary Medicines: Their Actions and Uses, 4th edition, New York, N.Y.: William Wood & Company, →OCLC, pages 442–443:
      Capsicum—the dried ripe fruit of Capsicum fastigiatum—is also known as Chilly pepper, Chillies, Guinea, or pod pepper, and is chiefly brought from Zanzibar. The several varieties differ in shape and size, are of a red colour, and filled with numerous red-brown, pungent seeds.
    • 2009, Shashank R. Joshi; Jaideep Shinde, “Region-based Diets in India”, in Anoop Mishra, editor, ECAB Clinical Update: Diabetology: Dietary Considerations in Diabetes, Gurgaon, Haryan: Elsevier, →ISBN, pages 81–82:
      Kolhapur: This region is famous for its spicy meat curries, Mahalakshmi temples and palaces. Popularly called Matnacha Rassa, red hot meat dish is served with robust chappatis, white gravy to dilute its pungency and a chilly gravy.
    • 2012, Nicole Jean-Louis, “Le Piment Rouge (20in × 24in)”, in History and Culture of Haiti: Journey through Visual Art, [Bloomington, Ind.: Xlibris], →ISBN, part VII (Daily Life – Urban and Rural):
      "Piment Rouge" in called in English, "Red Chilly Pepper", [] Red Chilly Pepper is native to Haiti. Whatever its color; green, red, orange, yellow, it is hot in flavor. The seeds are the hottest part of the pepper; take away the seeds, and you have a very aromatic, tasty spice. [] The chilly pepper is used to reinforce flavor.
    • 2014, Jennifer Olvera, “Suburban Stunners, Stalwarts & Surprises”, in Amy Lyons, editor, Food Lovers’ Guide to Chicago: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers’ Series), 2nd edition, Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, →ISBN, page 187:
      Kama Indian Bistro, [] Everything is made from scratch, including the spice blends and sauces; the ingredients are quality; and the heat is no-holds-barred. Planks of crispy, "chilly" potatoes and elegant, delicately flavored shrimp Sunnaina in white-wine garlic-tomato concassé are hits.