- Coolness or reserve between people.
“There was a distinct froideur between the colleagues, but it seemed to be a focus on professionalism rather than any kind of animosity.”
“To avoid any froideur between my friends and new boyfriend, I planned a get-to-know-you brunch.”
“There’s always been a bit of froideur between my sister-in-law and my sister, but I hope it will ease over time.”
French, mid-17th century
Why this word?
“Froideur” is a French loanword, in which “froid” means “cold” in French. But the noun doesn’t describe literal chilly temperatures in English. Instead it describes an attitude of coolness or emotional reserve. It’s not necessarily ill will or meanness — some people are just naturally more reserved, and their quiet demeanor toward others could be described as “froideur” — but the general implication is still quite frosty.
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