From Middle English thowen, thawen, from Old English þāwian (“to thaw”), from Proto-Germanic *þawōną, *þawjaną (“to thaw, melt”), from Proto-Indo-European *teh₂w- (“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) and Albanian thaj (“to dry (up), to thaw”), Polish tajać (“to thaw”).
- (intransitive) To melt, dissolve, or become fluid; to soften; — said of that which is frozen; as, the ice thaws. Specifically by gradual warming
- (intransitive) To become so warm as to melt ice and snow; — said in reference to the weather, and used impersonally.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To grow gentle or genial.
- (transitive) To cause frozen things (such as earth, snow, ice) to melt, soften, or dissolve. Specifically by gradual warming.
thaw (plural thaws)
- 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
- a warmth of weather sufficient to melt that which is congealed. —Dryden.
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