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I've only seen the word 'grauenkalt' in a line from the song, 'Dieses Leben,' by Juli.
The line is:

"Diese Nacht ist grauenkalt und schwer."

I looked up the verb 'grauen,' and it means both 'to dawn' (as in, 'a new day is dawning,' which doesn't really make sense in this context) and 'to dread,' which makes a little more sense and could mean 'the night is dreadfully cold,' which is what I'm assuming it means.
What I'm wondering is, is this a real word or something that was made up for the song? At first I thought it was a typo and someone forgot to hit the space bar between 'grauen' (meaning gray) and 'kalt,' but that would be 'grauekalt' (with no 'n' in the middle). And that would mean that the night is gray, which also makes no sense.

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I guess you have misunderstood this.

When you look at the lyrics:

it's grau und kalt, not grauenkalt

Diese Nacht ist grau und kalt und schwer

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Just to have mentioned it: most lyrics sites are not official or do a copy & paste from the same source. This may be how "grauenkalt" (1460 Google hits) came in. It would be nice to have someone look it up in the CD booklet. –  Takkat Jul 10 '13 at 14:14
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If it is really "grauenkalt", then your interpretation "dreadfully cold" is correct. You should note however that this word is not standard German, but belongs to the lyrical realms.

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