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1North American Melt or thaw.[with object] ‘the warm weather helped unthaw the rail lines’
melt, unfreeze, soften, liquefy, dissolveView synonyms
- ‘Such a movement could begin to unthaw frozen consciousness.’
- ‘The artillery boys are already unthawing the thick ice that has covered their guns and have jokingly told Gen. Stuart that they best not be moving for a while since the cannons are firmly frozen in place.’
- ‘Speaking of which, I think I'll unthaw some right now.’
- ‘I went to get a spoon and unthawed my hand, which was aching after holding the cold tub for so long, under some nice warm water.’
- ‘At this point, I will unthaw a deluxe bag of jumbo shrimp for you to sample as the appetizer.’
2Still frozen.‘you can cook prawns from frozen by plunging them, unthawed, into boiling water’
- ‘When using frozen blueberries for baking, lightly coat unthawed berries with flour or sugar before mixing into batter.’
- ‘She turned around and shoved the unthawed chicken in the oven.’
Logically, the verb unthaw should mean ‘freeze’, but in North America it means exactly the same as thaw (as in the warm weather helped unthaw the rail lines); because of the risk of confusion it is not part of standard usage. Unthawed as an adjective always means ‘still frozen’, but it is best avoided because many contexts may be ambiguous, such as use frozen (unthawed) blueberries
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