Difference Between Cool and Cold

The main difference between cool and cold is that cool indicates a lower temperature than cold. In other words, cold indicates a temperature that is closer to freezing whereas cool indicates a temperature that is between cold and mild.

Cool and cold are two adjectives that indicate a lower temperature. Although most of us assume that these words have the same meaning, there is a slight difference between cool and cold.

Key Areas Covered

1. Cool
     – Meaning, Usage, Examples
2. Cold
     – Meaning, Usage, Examples
3. Difference Between Cool and Cold
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Cool, Cold, TemperatureDifference Between Cool and Cold - Comparison Summary

Cool – Meaning, Usage, Examples

The adjective cool indicates a fairly low temperature. However, this temperature is not usually uncomfortably low; it’s only moderately low. In fact, the Oxford dictionary defines cool as a “soothing or refreshing because of its low temperature”.

How to Use Cool in a Sentence

  • She floated in the cool water of the swimming pool.
  • It’s a cool afternoon.
  • She was wearing a cool long dress.
  • The air was cool and refreshing.
Difference Between Cool and Cold

Figure 1: She swam in the refreshingly cool water.

The adjective cool also has some other meanings. Some of these include:

– Lacking friendliness or enthusiasm; showing marked calm and self-control Ex: She was always cool, calm and collected.
– Fashionable or attractive Ex: You look really cool in that dress.

Moreover, we also use the cool in an informal manner to mean ‘great’, or ‘excellent’.

Cold – Meaning, Usage, Examples

Cold is also an adjective that indicates a low temperature. However, cold indicates a temperature that is close to freezing, i.e., a temperature that is uncomfortably low. In fact, cold indicates a temperature that is lower than cool. Most people prefer a cool temperature over a cold one.

Main Difference - Cool vs Cold

Figure 2: She was shivering with cold

How to Use Cool in a Sentence

  • He had to refill the tub because the bathwater has grown cold.
  • The weather is cool enough to wear pants, but not cold enough for a jacket.
  • They were shivering with cold, so she added some more wood to the fire.
  • Her fingers were icy cold.

Cold can also describe a person’s personality. In this sense, this adjective means unemotional or lacking in warmth and affection.

Difference Between Cool and Cold

Definition

Cool describes a temperature that is moderately low whereas cold indicates a temperature that is very low.

Range of Temperature

Cold is a temperature that is closer to freezing whereas cool is a temperature that is somewhere between mild and cool.

Concepts Associated

A cold temperature is associated with freezing temperatures and discomfort whereas a cool temperature is associated with feelings like refreshing and soothing.

Personalities

Both these adjectives can also describe personalities. In this sense, cold means lacking warmth and affection whereas cool usually means calm and collected.

Conclusion

Cool and cold are two adjectives that indicate lower temperatures. However, there is a distinct difference between cool and cold; cold indicates a temperature that is closer to freezing whereas cool indicates a temperature that is between cold and mild.

Image Courtesy:

1. “1850709” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “3052622” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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