Things that are glacial are super cold. A place can be glacial — like the South Pole — but a person can be glacial, too, like that unfriendly girl who gave you a glacial stare.

The word glacial is related to the word glacier, which is a huge piece of ice. If something or someone is glacial, that thing or person is icy. You can give someone you don’t like a glacial look, or you can go skiing on a glacial morning. Glacial comes from the Latin glacies, which sounds like the name of a frozen dessert, but which actually just means "ice."

Definitions of glacial
  1. adjective
    relating to or derived from a glacier
    glacial deposit”
  2. adjective
    extremely cold
    glacial winds”
    synonyms: arctic, frigid, gelid, icy, polar
    having a low or inadequate temperature or feeling a sensation of coldness or having been made cold by e.g. ice or refrigeration
  3. adjective
    devoid of warmth and cordiality; expressive of unfriendliness or disdain
    “a glacial handshake”
    synonyms: frigid, frosty, frozen, icy, wintry
    extended meanings; especially of psychological coldness; without human warmth or emotion
  4. adjective
    very slow, like the movement of a glacier
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week