adjective, chill·i·er, chill·i·est.

  1. mildly cold or producing a sensation of cold; causing shivering; chill: a chilly breeze.
  2. feeling cold; sensitive to cold: Her hands were chilly.
  3. without warmth of feeling; cool: a chilly reply.
  4. producing or likely to produce a feeling of fear; frightening: He told a chilly story of ghosts and murder.


  1. Also chill·i·ly. in a chill manner: The wind blew chilly.

adjective -lier or -liest

  1. causing or feeling cool or moderately cold
  2. without warmth; unfriendly
  3. (of people) sensitive to cold

1560s, “causing a sensation of cold,” from chill (n.) + -y (2). Meaning “feeling coldish” is attested from 1610s; figurative use is recorded by 1841. Related: Chilliness.

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