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cold comfort

slight or negligible comfort; scarce consolation.
Origin of cold comfort
First recorded in 1565-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cold comfort
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The interview with Mrs. Darling proved but cold comfort to poor Mira.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • In her despair Aileen went to Octavius; but he gave her cold comfort.

    Flamsted quarries Mary E. Waller
  • But even when it was so cold that the milk was frozen,—cold comfort, indeed!

    Heroines of Service Mary Rosetta Parkman
  • With this cold comfort to his heart, John Temple was forced to be content.

    A Country Sweetheart Dora Russell
  • If he disapproved it would be a cold comfort to her that reason was on her side.

    At His Gates, Vol. 3(of 3) Margaret Oliphant
Idioms and Phrases with cold comfort

cold comfort

Slight or no consolation. For example, He can't lend us his canoe but will tell us where to rent one—that's cold comfort. The adjective cold was being applied to comfort in this sense by the early 1300s, and Shakespeare used the idiom numerous times.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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