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frost

frost or hoarfrost, ice formed by the condensation of atmospheric water vapor on a surface when the temperature of the surface is below 32°F (0°C). In the formation of frost, a gas (water vapor) is changed directly to a solid (see dew). Frost often appears as a light feathery deposit of ice, often of a curious and delicate pattern. The dates on which killing frosts (frost destructive to vegetation and staple agricultural products) occur vary considerably. Maps showing the growing season and the probable date of occurrence of frost may be obtained from the U.S. National Weather Service. The Weather Service stations issue warnings when frost is likely to occur; such warnings are broadcast by radio and are telegraphed or telephoned to farmers and fruitgrowers, who may protect their crops accordingly. Methods of protection vary: small flower beds and vegetable gardens are commonly protected by a screen or cloth that prevents excessive radiation from the earth and from the plants; in orchards, especially in California and Florida, simple oil-burning stoves or smudge pots placed at intervals throughout an orchard are used to heat and circulate the air sufficiently to prevent frost. Valleys are more subject to frosts than slopes, since cold air "slides" downhill and settles in depressions; orchards and citrus fruit groves are usually planted on slopes. Other factors in the occurrence of frost are altitude, latitude, proximity to large bodies of water, and other determinants of temperature. Frost, an element of climate, is an important agent of erosion. Frost heaving, an upthrust of ground caused by freezing, is a factor of consideration in engineering construction, especially in highway foundations. Frost is also a factor in the layer by layer mechanical weathering (exfoliation) of many types of rock masses. In England the word frost denotes freezing weather and degrees of frost means the number of degrees that the temperature falls below the freezing point.

See R. L. Berg and E. Wright Frost Action and Its Control (1984).

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frost

frost / frôst/ • n. a deposit of small white ice crystals formed on the ground or other surfaces when the temperature falls below freezing. ∎  a period of cold weather when such deposits form: when the hard frosts had set in. ∎ fig. a chilling or dispiriting quality, esp. one conveyed by a cold manner: there was a light frost of anger in Jack's tone. ∎  [in sing.] inf. , chiefly Brit. a failure. • v. [tr.] cover (something) with or as if with small ice crystals; freeze: each windowpane was frosted along its edges. ∎  [intr.] become covered with small ice crystals: a mustache that frosts up when he's ice-climbing. ∎  decorate (a cake, cupcake, or other baked item) with icing. ∎  tint hair strands to change the color of isolated strands. ∎  injure (a plant) by freezing weather. ∎ inf. anger or annoy: such discrimination frosted her no end. DERIVATIVES: frost·less adj.

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frost

frost In meteorology, atmospheric temperatures below 0°C (32°F) at the Earth's surface. The visible result of a frost is usually a deposit of minute ice crystals formed on exposed surfaces from dew and water vapour. In freezing weather, the ‘degree of frost’ indicates the number of degrees below freezing point. When white hoar-frost is formed, water vapour passes directly from its gaseous state to a solid, without becoming a liquid.

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frost

frost The condition in which the prevailing temperature is below the freezing point of water (0°C). This may lead to a deposit of ice crystals on objects (e.g. grass or trees). Such deposits result from condensation when the dew-point temperature is below freezing. See also black ice.

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frost

frost Condition in which the prevailing temperature is below the freezing point of water (0°C). This may lead to a deposit of ice crystals on objects, e.g. grass or trees. Such deposits result from condensation when the dew-point temperature is below freezing. See also BLACK ICE.

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frost

frost OE. frost, usu. forst = OS., (O)HG., ON. frost (Du. vorst) :- Gmc. *frustaz, -am, f. wk. grade of *freusan FREEZE + abstr. suffix -t-. The form frost was doubtless established by ON. influence.
Hence frosty XIV.

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frost

frost traditionally personified as Jack Frost (see Jack).
frost giants in Scandinavian mythology, the enemies of Thor.

See also so many mists in March, so many frosts in May.

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Frost

Frost

of dowagersLipton, 1970.

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frost

frostaccost, cost, frost, lost, Prost, riposte •teleost • Pentecost • oncost • glasnost •compost • star-crossed • hoar frost •permafrost

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