Word of the Month: Fresh (fresco)

Shana Goodwin, February 8, 2022



  1. New to one’s experience; not encountered before. Example: The case was reopened after the police uncovered fresh evidence.
    A. Recently made, produced, or harvested; not stale or spoiled. Example: The smell of fresh bread floated from the kitchen into the room where I was studying.
    B. Not preserved (by canning, freezing, or smoking) Example: We pick up fresh vegetables from the market every Tuesday.
    A. Not yet used or soiled; clean. Example: She gave a fresh piece of paper to each student.
    B. Free from pollution or impurity. Example: I love hiking in the mountains and getting some good fresh air!
    C. Newly applied, especially to restore or enhance. Example: After I sanded the old dresser and gave it a fresh coat of lacquer, it looked as good as new.
  4. Fairly strong and often cool; brisk. Example: After several weeks of hot weather, the mornings have felt so nice and fresh recently!
  5. Revived or reinvigorated. Example: After his long Sunday nap, my son woke up looking and feeling fresh and ready for the afternoon’s activities.

When I sat down to write this post, I thought of the word “fresh” immediately: the weather has been so wonderfully refreshing and cool this week after several weeks of super hot and humid weather! It’s also a fitting word near the beginning of a year, when everything feels new and we’re ready to put our New Year’s resolutions and good habits into practice. The word has many meanings and can also be seen in the verb “refresh” (to revive or reinvigorate) and in many other forms: refreshing, refreshments, freshness, freshman, freshening, etc.

Some useful phrases and idioms that use the word “fresh” include:

  • Fresh water (non-sea/salt water)
  • Fresh memory (not dull or faded)
  • Fresh – used with cows (a cow that has just calved and is giving milk)
  • Fresh – used with horses (a horse that is rested and ready to ride)
  • Fresh-faced (youthful appearance)
  • Fresh complexion (glowing and unspoiled appearance)
  • Don’t be fresh with me! (impudent, lacking respect)
  • Fresh as a daisy (used with meaning #5 above)
  • Fresh from/out of college/a job/flour (having recently come out of a situation [college, etc.] or run out of something [flour, etc.])
  • A breath of fresh air (something that is refreshing in some way)
  • A fresh start (a new beginning)
  • A fresh pair of eyes (another person to critique, edit, or examine something)

Photograph courtesy of Huzeyfe Turan.