Absolute or pure cold, considered by Parmenides (450 b.c.) to be an elementary substance; the origin or source of cold.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Francis Bacon (1561–1626), lord chancellor, politician, and philosopher. From post-classical Latin primum frigidum, lit. ‘first cold’ from classical Latin prīmum, neuter of prīmus + frīgidum cold, use as noun of neuter of frīgidus, after Hellenistic Greek τὸ πρώτως ψυχρόν.