What Does Chill Out Mean?

Chill Out Meaning

Definition: Calm down; relax.

The idiom chill out means to relax or calm down. This idiom is commonly used in American English.

To chill out may also refer to spending time with friends. Unlike most phrasal verbs in English, chill out can be shortened to chill, and it still keeps its idiomatic meaning.


Origin of Chill Out

 Chilling out definitionChill out became popular in America in the 1970s and functions as a phrasal verb. However, unlike many phrasal verbs, this phrase may be shortened to chill while retaining its idiomatic meaning.

For example, if Mary is crying because she failed her test, her friend Kim might tell her to chill, because the teacher will let her retake it later.

This phrase has several meanings in English. Apart from to calm down or relax, chill out can also be used to mean spending time with friends.

For example, Jerry may tell his dad he’s planning on chilling out with his friends later. He could also say he’s going to chill with his friends later.

Although this phrase has several meanings, its meaning should be clear in context.

Examples of Chill Out

Chilling out meaningThis sample conversation between two friends shows how this phrase is used in various contexts.

Trinity: Are you going to come chill with us later?

Jade: I don’t know. I really want to, but my mom gets off work at five and if she sees I’m not home, I’ll be in big trouble.

Trinity: Chill out, Jade. We’ll have you home before five, so you won’t get in trouble.

More Examples

  • “Chicago Justice” star Jon Seda said he may chill out on North Avenue Beach after participating in the Chicago Polar Plunge Sunday. – Chicago Tribune
  • “People need to give him a chance. Just chill out and give him a chance.” – The Washington Post


The English idiom chill out has several meanings. It can mean to relax or calm down or it can mean spending time with friends.