refrigerant (plural refrigerants)

  1. A substance used in a heat cycle that undergoes a phase change between gas and liquid to allow the cooling, as in refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.
  2. That which makes cool or cold, such as a medicine for allaying the symptoms of fever.
    • 1783, Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, Dublin: Whitestone et al., Volume 2, Lecture 32, p. 403,
      […] never give warning that you are about to be pathetic; and call upon your hearers, as is sometimes done, to follow you in the attempt. This almost never fails to prove a refrigerant to passion.
    • 1869, Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Cinders from the Ashes” in Pages from an Old Volume of Life, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1883, p. 245,
      […] taking a blue and white soda-powder, [she] mingled the same in water, and encouraged me to drink the result. It might be a specific for seasickness, but it was not for home-sickness. The fiz was a mockery, and the saline refrigerant struck a colder chill to my despondent heart.


  1. (obsolete) That cools or freezes; providing relief from heat or fever.
    • 1627, Francis Bacon, Sylua Syluarum: or A Naturall Historie in Ten Centuries, London: William Lee, VIII. Century, p. 204,
      This Experiment may be transferred vnto the Cure of Gangrenes, either Comming of themselues, or induced by too much Applying of Opiates: Wherein you must beware of Dry Heat, and resort to Things that are Refrigerant, with an Inward Warmth, and Vertue of Cherishing.
    • 1788, John Hawkesworth, “Laudes Dargelli, or, Verses on the River Dargle” in The Poetical Works of John Hawkesworth, Dublin, p. 25,
      Here on a bank, refrigerant seat,
      Screen’d from the Sun’s o’ercoming heat,
      Some stretch’d at ease the hours employ,
      In Bacchus’s unbounded joy,
    • 1859, Richard Francis Burton, The Lake Regions of Central Equatorial Africa, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 29, Chapter 2, pp. 54-55,
      They employ the coco-nut extensively; […] This immoderate use of the fruit is, according to the people, far from wholesome: it is considered, by its refrigerant properties, to cause rheumatic pains […]

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