Cool vs. Awesome — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 25, 2023
Cool suggests approval or fashionability, while Awesome indicates something is impressive or overwhelming in a positive way.
Difference Between Cool and Awesome
Table of Contents
Cool and Awesome are both colloquial terms often used to express approval or admiration. However, their connotations differ slightly. Cool usually hints at something being in vogue, stylish, or agreeable. It's a versatile term that has been a staple of youth slang for generations. On the contrary, Awesome traditionally describes something that inspires awe, suggesting that it's impressive or overwhelming in magnitude or quality.
When someone describes music, fashion, or a person as Cool, they are often referring to its contemporary appeal or its alignment with current trends. It might not necessarily be overwhelming or extraordinary, but it has a certain charisma or charm that's appreciated. Alternatively, describing something as Awesome means it stands out, making a significant impact or leaving a lasting impression. It's less about being trendy and more about being impactful.
Cool also carries a calm and collected connotation. It can describe a person's demeanor or reaction as being calm or unflustered. Awesome doesn't have this same association. Instead, Awesome leans towards expressing sheer admiration or being profoundly affected by something.
Though both Cool and Awesome have evolved in their usage over time, they retain distinct nuances. Cool has an element of subtlety, suggesting approval without being overly effusive. In contrast, Awesome is more emphatic, indicating a higher degree of admiration or astonishment.
Fashionable or agreeable.
Inspiring awe; impressive.
Approval without being overly effusive.
High admiration or astonishment.
Usage in Trend
Indicates something is trendy or in vogue.
Indicates something is impactful or outstanding.
Calm and collected demeanor.
Doesn't directly refer to a personality trait.
More emphatic admiration.
Compare with Definitions
Fashionable or trendy.
Vintage shirts are really cool right now.
Expressing amazement or approval.
That's an awesome idea!
Very good or agreeable.
The new movie was cool.
Causing feelings of admiration or wonder.
The view from the mountaintop was awesome.
Indifferent or nonchalant.
He was cool about the whole situation.
Overwhelming in nature.
The power of nature can be truly awesome.
Neither warm nor very cold; moderately cold
Fresh, cool water.
A cool autumn evening.
Excellent or outstanding.
She did an awesome job on the project.
Giving or suggesting relief from heat
A cool breeze.
A cool blouse.
Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe
The awesome power of the atomic bomb
Marked by calm self-control
A cool negotiator.
An awesome thunderstorm.
Marked by indifference, disdain, or dislike; unfriendly or unresponsive
A cool greeting.
Was cool to the idea of higher taxes.
Stood in awesome silence before the ancient ruins.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of colors, such as blue and green, that produce the impression of coolness.
(Slang) Remarkable; outstanding
"a totally awesome arcade game" (Los Angeles Times).
Knowledgeable or aware of the latest trends or developments
Spent all his time trying to be cool.
(dated) Causing awe or terror; inspiring wonder or excitement.
The waterfall in the middle of the rainforest was an awesome sight.
The tsunami was awesome in its destructive power.
Has a cool sports car.
Had a cool time at the party.
(colloquial) Excellent, exciting, remarkable.
That was awesome!
It's cool if you don't want to talk about it.
(slang) nodot=a: the quality, state, or essence of being awesome.
Made of awesome
(Slang) Entire; full
Worth a cool million.
Causing awe; appalling; awful; as, an awesome sight.
(Informal) In a casual manner; nonchalantly
Play it cool.
Expressive of awe or terror.
An awesome glance up at the auld castle.
To make less warm.
Inspiring awe or admiration or wonder;
New York is an amazing city
The Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight
The awesome complexity of the universe
This sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath
Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent
To make less ardent, intense, or zealous
Problems that soon cooled my enthusiasm for the project.
Your dedication is simply awesome.
(Physics) To reduce the molecular or kinetic energy of (an object).
To become less warm
Took a dip to cool off.
To become calmer
Needed time for tempers to cool.
A cool place, part, or time
The cool of early morning.
The state or quality of being cool.
"Our release marked a victory. The nation had kept its cool" (Moorhead Kennedy).
Having a slightly low temperature; mildly or pleasantly cold.
Allowing or suggesting heat relief.
Linen has made cool and breathable clothing for millennia.
Of a color, in the range of violet to green.
If you have a reddish complexion, you should mainly wear cool colors.
Of a person, not showing emotion; calm and in control of oneself.
Unenthusiastic, lukewarm, skeptical.
His proposals had a cool reception.
In control as always, he came up with a cool plan.
Applied facetiously to a sum of money, commonly as if to give emphasis to the largeness of the amount.
(informal) Of a person, knowing what to do and how to behave; considered popular by others.
(informal) In fashion and fancy, part of or befitting the most leading trends and habits of the in crowd; originally hipster slang.
(informal) Of an action, all right; acceptable; that does not present a problem.
Is it cool if I sleep here tonight?
(informal) Very interesting or exciting.
I think astronomy is really cool.
(informal) (followed by with) Able to tolerate; to be fine with.
I'm completely cool with my girlfriend leaving me.
(informal) (of a pair of people) holding no grudge against one another; having no beef.
We're cool, right?
(sarcastic) (of an act or situation)'' annoying, irritating.
A moderate or refreshing state of cold; moderate temperature of the air between hot and cold; coolness.
In the cool of the morning
A calm temperament.
The property of being cool, popular or in fashion.
To lose heat, to get colder.
I like to let my tea cool before drinking it so I don't burn my tongue.
To make cooler, less warm.
To become less intense, e.g. less amicable or passionate.
Relations cooled between the USA and the USSR after 1980.
To make less intense, e.g. less amicable or passionate.
(transitive) To kill.
Moderately cold; between warm and cold; lacking in warmth; producing or promoting coolness.
Fanned with cool winds.
Not ardent, warm, fond, or passionate; not hasty; deliberate; exercising self-control; self-possessed; dispassionate; indifferent; as, a cool lover; a cool debater.
For a patriot, too cool.
Not retaining heat; light; as, a cool dress.
Manifesting coldness or dislike; chilling; apathetic; as, a cool manner.
Quietly impudent; negligent of propriety in matters of minor importance, either ignorantly or willfully; presuming and selfish; audacious; as, cool behavior.
Its cool stare of familiarity was intolerable.
Applied facetiously, in a vague sense, to a sum of money, commonly as if to give emphasis to the largeness of the amount.
He had lost a cool hundred.
Leaving a cool thousand to Mr. Matthew Pocket.
A moderate state of cold; coolness; - said of the temperature of the air between hot and cold; as, the cool of the day; the cool of the morning or evening.
To make cool or cold; to reduce the temperature of; as, ice cools water.
Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.
To moderate the heat or excitement of; to allay, as passion of any kind; to calm; to moderate.
We have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts.
To become less hot; to lose heat.
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,the whilst his iron did on the anvil cool.
To lose the heat of excitement or passion; to become more moderate.
I will not give myself liberty to think, lest I should cool.
The quality of being cool;
The cool of early morning
Great coolness and composure under strain;
Keep your cool
Make cool or cooler;
Chill the food
The air cooled considerably after the thunderstorm
His enthusiasm cooled considerably
Neither warm or very cold; giving relief from heat;
A cool autumn day
A cool room
Cool summer dresses
A cool breeze
Marked by calm self-control (especially in trying circumstances); unemotional;
Play it cool
Stayed coolheaded in the crisis
The most nerveless winner in the history of the tournament
(color) inducing the impression of coolness; used especially of greens and blues and violets;
Cool greens and blues and violets
Psychologically cool and unenthusiastic; unfriendly or unresponsive or showing dislike;
Relations were cool and polite
A cool reception
Cool to the idea of higher taxes
Used of a number or sum and meaning without exaggeration or qualification;
A cool million bucks
Fashionable and attractive at the time; often skilled or socially adept;
He's a cool dude
Mary's dress is really cool
It's not cool to arrive at a party too early
Calm and composed.
Despite the pressure, she remained cool.
Lacking in warmth; moderately cold.
The evening breeze felt cool.
How has the term Cool evolved?
Originally meaning cold, it's evolved to indicate approval, calmness, or being in vogue.
How does Awesome differ from Cool?
Awesome indicates high admiration or something that's impressive, while Cool suggests fashionability or approval.
Is Awesome always positive?
Mostly, but it can describe overwhelming things, like "the awesome power of nature."
Can Cool describe temperature?
Yes, Cool can refer to a moderate level of coldness.
Which is stronger, Cool or Awesome?
Awesome is stronger, indicating high admiration or astonishment.
What does Cool primarily convey?
Cool primarily conveys approval, trendiness, or calmness.
Does Cool only refer to trends?
No, it can also describe demeanor, reactions, and temperatures.
Can I use Cool to describe a person's attitude?
Yes, indicating they are calm or indifferent.
Can an experience be Awesome?
Yes, if it leaves a significant impact or impression.
How did Cool become slang?
Its transition into slang is attributed to jazz culture, denoting something appealing.
Is Cool universally understood?
While widely understood, its nuance can vary across cultures and age groups.
Can Awesome describe a person?
Yes, it can describe someone as impressive or admirable.
Is Awesome a recent slang term?
While popularized recently, its origins date back, meaning "inspiring awe."
Does Cool always mean something is popular?
Not always. It can also mean calm, agreeable, or moderately cold.
Can Awesome describe something grand in scale?
Yes, it can refer to something overwhelming in magnitude or quality.
Share Your Discovery
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.