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    #1

    to melt and to thaw

    Could you please explain me the difference between To thaw and To melt, reporting some examples?

    Can we use both to talk about food? a man's heart? snow or ice?
    Are there any particular cases where they are not interchangeable?

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to melt and to thaw

    Melt is to become liquified by heat.
    Example: I melted two bars of chocolate for this mousse.

    Thaw is to become softened (and eventually liquid) as the result of warming. Example: The river thawed and barges of food began to reach the capital.

    Any good online or paper dictionary will provide you with dozens of examples of how you might use these two words. Sometimes they are interchangeable, sometimes they are not.
    NB: There are several examples in scientific domains where they are strictly not interchangeable.

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    #3

    Re: to melt and to thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    Melt is to become liquified by heat.
    Example: I melted two bars of chocolate for this mousse.

    Thaw is to become softened (and eventually liquid) as the result of warming. Example: The river thawed and barges of food began to reach the capital.

    Any good online or paper dictionary will provide you with dozens of examples of how you might use these two words. Sometimes they are interchangeable, sometimes they are not.
    NB: There are several examples in scientific domains where they are strictly not interchangeable.
    So for example, snow can both melt (because the weather gets warmer) and thaw (because it's sunny and warm and it melts away)?
    And food, for example can just melt, I suppose...is that correct?
    What about a river? I think that if it was frozen over it can melt, but can a river thaw too?

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: to melt and to thaw

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    ...
    What about a river? I think that if it was frozen over it can melt, but can a river thaw too?
    John's example dealt with this. The river thaws; the ice covering the river melts. 'Thaw' can also be a noun: 'We need to get to the village, but the thaw isn't due until the weekend.'

    b

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