One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1North American Melt or thaw.with object ‘the warm weather helped unthaw the rail lines’
melt, unfreeze, soften, liquefy, dissolveView synonyms
- ‘At this point, I will unthaw a deluxe bag of jumbo shrimp for you to sample as the appetizer.’
- ‘Such a movement could begin to unthaw frozen consciousness.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Speaking of which, I think I'll unthaw some right now.’
- ‘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.’
2as adjective unthawedStill frozen.‘you can cook prawns from frozen by plunging them, unthawed, into boiling water’
- ‘She turned around and shoved the unthawed chicken in the oven.’
- ‘When using frozen blueberries for baking, lightly coat unthawed berries with flour or sugar before mixing into batter.’
- ‘Unthawed turkey cooks faster on the outside, often leaving harmful bacteria inside.’
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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