Cold is a major stressor, which limits plant growth and development in many parts of the world, especially in the temperate climate zones. A large number of experimental studies has demonstrated that not only acclimation and entrainment, but also the experience of single short stress events of various abiotic or biotic kinds (priming stress) can improve the tolerance of plants to chilling temperatures. This process, called priming, depends on a stress “memory”. It does not change cold-sensitivity per se, but beneficially modifies the response to cold, and can last for days, months or even longer. Elicitor factors and antagonists accumulate due to increased biosynthesis or decreased degradation either during or after the priming stimulus. Comparison of priming studies investigating improved tolerance to chilling temperatures highlighted key regulatory functions of ROS / RNS and antioxidant enzymes, plant hormones, especially jasmonates, salicylates and abscisic acid, and signalling metabolites, such as β- and γ-aminobutyric acid (BABA and GABA) and melatonin. We conclude that these elicitors and antagonists modify local and systemic cold-tolerance by integration into cold-induced signalling cascades.