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 gradually melt, dissolve, or become fluid; to soften from frozen
- the ice thaws
- (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.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To grow gentle or genial.
- Her anger has thawed.
- (transitive) To gradually cause frozen things (such as earth, snow, ice) to melt, soften, or dissolve.
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 frozen
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
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- Aspirate mutation of taw.