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cold snap

a sudden onset of a relatively brief period of cold weather.
Also called cold spell.
Origin of cold snap
An Americanism dating back to 1770-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cold snap
Historical Examples
  • A cold snap inevitably brings a "run" of fires in its train.

  • After the cold snap it seemed as if spring had come in earnest.

    A Little Girl in Old San Francisco

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • They'd had a nice mild winter; only one cold snap at Christmas.

    The Pike's Peak Rush Edwin L. Sabin
  • Anyhow, now the Indian's gone, and a cold snap threatens, we have got to quit.

    Northwest! Harold Bindloss
  • In fact, we were at a loss to know what to do with them, for a cold snap had come on.

    A Busy Year at the Old Squire's

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • Maybe we'll have a storm and a cold snap that will improve conditions.

  • "We're going to be let in for a cold snap as we get up north," he went on.

    The Motor Maid

    Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson
  • She lays her eggs in November and dies with the first cold snap.

    The Life of the Spider J. Henri Fabre
  • We are waiting for money now, and, of course, a cold snap has set in just when we can't possibly buy anything.

  • This cold snap will soon be over and I can show you no end of land worth a gold mine any time you are ready.

    Winning the Wilderness Margaret Hill McCarter
British Dictionary definitions for cold snap

cold snap

a sudden short spell of cold weather
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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Slang definitions & phrases for cold snap

cold snap

noun phrase

A short spell of cold weather (1776+)

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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Idioms and Phrases with cold snap

cold snap

Also,cold spell. A short period of unusually cold weather, as in The recent cold snap has threatened the crop. The first expression presumably likens snap in the sense of “a sudden bite or cut” to sudden unexpected cold. The variant is more obvious, spell having been used in the sense of “a bout or turn at something” since the early 1700s. [ Early 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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