from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An appliance, cabinet, or room for storing food or other substances at a low temperature.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A feed-water heater, formerly used on ships, in which the boiler-feed was heated by the water or brine blown out of the boiler.
  • noun In heat-engines, a device or substance for absorbing the heat generated during the compression stage of the cycle.
  • noun In steam-engines, an obsolete device which was used for cooling the injection water for a marine condensing engine by cold sea-water. The surface-condenser renders this unnecessary.
  • noun A machine for cooling air or fluids, in which the fluid or gas is compressed, cooled, and then allowed to expand, lowering its temperature in this last stage, and withdrawing heat from objects warmer than itself.
  • noun That which refrigerates, cools, or keeps cool; specifically, any vessel, chamber, or apparatus designed to keep its contents at a temperature little if at all above the freezing-point.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A box or room for keeping food or other articles cool, usually by means of ice.
  • noun An apparatus for rapidly cooling heated liquids or vapors, connected with a still, etc.
  • noun (Railroad) a freight car constructed as a refrigerator, for the transportation of fresh meats, fish, etc., in a temperature kept cool by ice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A household appliance used for keeping food fresh by refrigeration (short form fridge).
  • noun One who has a chilling influence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun white goods in which food can be stored at low temperatures


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • A reflection at once so prudent and so virtuous acted as a refrigerator on my spirits; but visions of pleasure and of interest soon raised them again above the freezing point.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 7 ch. 10

    Interesting usage from before the days of mechanical refrigerators. I would imagine this was a fairly rare word back then.

    October 1, 2008