Medical Definition of Cryophobia

Cryophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of cold, including cold weather and cold objects. Sufferers from cryophobia experience anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. To avoid cold, they may live in a warm climate, dress more warmly than necessary, stay indoors on cold days, and avoid cold foods and ice cubes.

"Cryophobia" is derived from the Greek "kryos" (cold, frigid) and "phobos" (fear). "Kryos" has given us English words such as "cryometer" (a thermometer for measuring very cold temperatures) and "cryotherapy" and "cryosurgery" (medical techniques that freeze and destroy diseased tissue). Related term: Thermophobia, fear of heat.

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Last Editorial Review: 12/11/2018