• frigorific •
Pronunciation: fri-gê-ri-fik • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Frigiferous, making cold, chilling, cooling, both literally and figuratively.
Notes: This word lies on the brink of extinction, but it should be a welcomed substitute for 'making cold' or 'chilling' to any astute conversationalist. We see the root, frig-, in the roots of many English words, like refrigerator, Frigidaire, and frigid, always pronounced [frij] before I and E, and [frig] before A and O.
In Play: This word may refer to physical chilling: "Molly has a frigorific cooler that not only maintains the coolness of its content, but actually cools it." It may also refer to figurative chilling: "Moral nature requires the frigorific experience of seasoned ageing." Keep in mind this word means "causing cold or chill", not just "cold or chill".
Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from French frigorifique, the remnants of Late Latin frigorificus "cooling", the adjective of frigus, frigor- "cold, cool", from verb frigere "be cold". This word was created by juxtaposing the root of frigus, frig-o- and fic, the combining form of facere "do, make". Frigus comes from Proto-Italic srigos- with rhotacism of the final S, inherited from PIE srig- "cold", source also of Greek rhigos "cold, frost".