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”).
- (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.
- c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i], page 167:
- Mor. Miſlike me not for my complexion, / The ſhadowed liuerie of the burniſht ſunne, / To whom I am a neighbour,and neere bred. / Bring me the faireſt creature North-ward borne, / Where Phœbus fire ſcarce thawes the yſicles, / And let vs make inciſion for your loue, / To proue whoſe blood is reddeſt,his or mine.
- 1700, John Dryden, "Palamon and Arcite", in Fables, Ancient and Modern:
- The frame of burnish'd steel, that cast a glare / From far, and seemed to thaw the freezing air.
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?)
- 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.
- Aspirate mutation of .