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[kohld-bluhd-id] /ˈkoʊldˈblʌd ɪd/
designating or pertaining to animals, as fishes and reptiles, whose blood temperature ranges from the freezing point upward, in accordance with the temperature of the surrounding medium; poikilothermic.
without emotion or feeling; dispassionate; cruel:
a cold-blooded murder.
sensitive to cold.
Origin of cold-blooded
First recorded in 1585-95
Related forms
cold-bloodedly, adverb
cold-bloodedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cold-blooded
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was cold-blooded and generally disliked by the men under him.

    The Fifth String

    John Philip Sousa
  • I like him tremendously, in spite of his cold-blooded confession, and past record.

    The Long Voyage Carl Richard Jacobi
  • Her innocent little Vada in the arms of this cold-blooded assassin!

  • Nobody knows that but us three and that cold-blooded fish, Alston Choate.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • Is it the turf and its teachings to which this crafty and cold-blooded spirit is owing?

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
British Dictionary definitions for cold-blooded


having or showing a lack of feeling or pity: a cold-blooded killing
(informal) particularly sensitive to cold
(of all animals except birds and mammals) having a body temperature that varies with that of the surroundings Technical term poikilothermic
Derived Forms
cold-bloodedly, adverb
cold-bloodedness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cold-blooded

also cold blooded; 1590s, of persons, "without emotion, unfeeling;" of actions, from 1828. The phrase refers to the old notion that blood temperature rose with excitement. In the literal sense, of reptiles, etc., from c.1600. From cold (adj.) + blood (n.). Related: Cold-bloodedly; cold-bloodedness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cold-blooded in Medicine

cold-blooded adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cold-blooded in Science
Having a body temperature that changes according to the temperature of the surroundings. Fish, amphibians, and reptiles are cold-blooded.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for cold-blooded



Absolutely first-rate; the very best; zero cool (1960s+ Black teenagers)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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