v. thawed, thaw·ing, thaws
1. To change from a frozen solid to a liquid by gradual warming.
2. To lose stiffness, numbness, or impermeability by being warmed: left the frozen turkey out until it thawed; thawed out by sitting next to the stove.
3. To become warm enough for snow and ice to melt.
4. To become less formal, aloof, or reserved.
To cause to thaw.
1. The process of thawing.
2. A period of warm weather during which ice and snow melt.
3. A relaxation of reserve, restraints, or tensions.
[Middle English thawen, from Old English thawian.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.