- having a relatively low temperature; having little or no warmth: cold water; a cold day.
- feeling an uncomfortable lack of warmth; chilled: The skaters were cold.
- having a temperature lower than the normal temperature of the human body: cold hands.
- lacking in passion, emotion, enthusiasm, ardor, etc.; dispassionate: cold reason.
- not affectionate, cordial, or friendly; unresponsive: a cold reply; a cold reception.
- lacking sensual desire: She remained cold to his advances.
- failing to excite feeling or interest: the cold precision of his prose.
- unexcitable; imperturbable: cold impassivity.
- depressing; dispiriting: the cold atmosphere of a hospital waiting room.
- unconscious because of a severe blow, shock, etc.: I knocked him cold with an uppercut.
- lacking the warmth of life; lifeless: When the doctor arrived, the body was already cold.
- faint; weak: The dogs lost the cold scent.
- (in games) distant from the object of search or the correct answer.
- Slang. (in sports and games) not scoring or winning; ineffective: Cold shooting and poor rebounding were their undoing.
- having cool colors, especially muted tones tending toward grayish blue.
- being a cool color.
- slow to absorb heat, as a soil containing a large amount of clay and hence retentive of moisture.
- Metalworking. noting or pertaining to any process involving plastic deformation of a metal at a temperature below that at which recrystallization can occur because of the strain: cold working.
- the relative absence of heat: Everyone suffered from the intense cold.
- the sensation produced by loss of heat from the body, as by contact with anything having a lower temperature than that of the body: He felt the cold of the steel door against his cheek.
- cold weather: He can't take the cold.
- Also called common cold. a respiratory disorder characterized by sneezing, sore throat, coughing, etc., caused by an allergic reaction or by a viral, bacterial, or mixed infection.
- with complete competence, thoroughness, or certainty; absolutely: He learned his speech cold.
- without preparation or prior notice: She had to play the lead role cold.
- in an abrupt, unceremonious manner: He quit the job cold.
- Metalworking. at a temperature below that at which recrystallization can occur (sometimes used in combination): to cold-hammer an iron bar; The wire was drawn cold.
- catch/take cold, to get or suffer from a cold: We all caught cold during that dreadful winter.
- go cold, Slang. (in sports and games) to become unproductive or ineffective; be unable to score.
- in cold blood. blood(def 20).
- in from the cold, out of a position or condition of exile, concealment, isolation, or alienation: Since the new government promised amnesty, fugitive rebels are coming in from the cold.
- left out in the cold, neglected; ignored; forgotten: After the baby came, the young husband felt left out in the cold.Also out in the cold.
- throw cold water on, to disparage; disapprove of; dampen the enthusiasm of: They threw cold water on her hopes to take acting classes.
Origin of cold
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- having relatively little warmth; of a rather low temperaturecold weather; cold hands
- without sufficient or proper warmththis meal is cold
- lacking in affection, enthusiasm, or warmth of feelinga cold manner
- not affected by emotion; objectivecold logic
- sexually unresponsive or frigid
- lacking in freshnessa cold scent; cold news
- chilling to the spirit; depressing
- (of a colour) having violet, blue, or green predominating; giving no sensation of warmth
- metallurgy denoting or relating to a process in which work-hardening occurs as a result of the plastic deformation of a metal at too low a temperature for annealing to take place
- (of a process) not involving heat, in contrast with traditional methodscold typesetting; cold technology
- informal (of a seeker) far from the object of a search
- denoting the contacting of potential customers, voters, etc, without previously approaching them in order to establish their interestcold mailing
- cold comfort little or no comfort
- cold steel the use of bayonets, knives, etc, in combat
- from cold without advance notice; without giving preparatory information
- in cold blood showing no passion; deliberately; ruthlessly
- leave someone cold informal to fail to excite someonethe performance left me cold
- throw cold water on or pour cold water on informal to be unenthusiastic about or discourage
- the absence of heat regarded as a positive forcethe cold took away our breath
- the sensation caused by loss or lack of heat
- in the cold or out in the cold informal neglected; ignored
- an acute viral infection of the upper respiratory passages characterized by discharge of watery mucus from the nose, sneezing, etc
- catch a cold slang to make a loss; lose one's investment
- informal without preparationhe played his part cold
- informal, mainly US and Canadian thoroughly; absolutelyshe turned him down cold
Word Origin and History for catch cold
Old English cald (Anglian), ceald (West Saxon) "cold, cool" (adj.), "coldness," from Proto-Germanic *kaldaz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon kald, Old High German and German kalt, Old Norse kaldr, Gothic kalds "cold"), possibly a past participle adjective of *kal-/*kol-, from PIE root *gel-/*gol- "cold" (cf. Latin gelare "to freeze," gelu "frost," glacies "ice").
Meaning "not strong" (in reference to scent) is 1590s, from hunting. Cold front in weather is from 1921. Cold-call in the sales pitch sense first recorded 1972. Japanese has two words for "cold:" samui for coldness in the atmosphere or environment; tsumetai for things which are cold to touch, and also in the figurative sense, with reference to personalities, behaviors, etc.
c.1300, "coldness," from cold (adj.). Sense in common cold is 1530s, from symptoms resembling those of exposure to cold; cf. earlier senses "indisposition caused by exposure to cold" (early 14c.); "discomfort caused by cold" (c.1300).
- A viral infection characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the upper respiratory passages and usually accompanied by malaise, fever, chills, coughing, and sneezing.coryza acute rhinitis common cold coryza
Idioms and Phrases with catch cold
Also, catch one's death (of cold). Become infected with a cold virus, contract a bad cold, as in Jane manages to catch cold on every important business trip, or Put on your hat or you'll catch your death. The first term originally (16th century) meant becoming chilled by exposure to cold and took on its present meaning in the late 1600s. The hyperbolic variant, often shortened, is somewhat newer.
In addition to the idioms beginning with cold
- cold cash
- cold comfort
- cold feet, get
- cold fish
- cold hands, warm heart
- cold shoulder
- cold shower
- cold snap
- cold storage
- cold sweat
- cold turkey