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.
Idioms about 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.
- coldish, adjective
- coldly, adverb
- coldness, noun
- o·ver·cold, adjective
- o·ver·cold·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cold in a sentence
It’s the kind of place where the waiter prepares things tableside, like mixing a Manhattan so cold a layer of ice floats on its surface, or tossing a Caesar salad with silver tongs.We’re all fantasizing about post-covid dining now: “I just want someone to spill a beer on me” | Emily Heil | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
For past initiatives, like his $2 billion homelessness directive, members of Bezos’s team cold-called people they knew to figure out who to donate to, instead of opening up a public channel.Can Billionaires Really Save Us from Climate Disaster? | Heather Hansman | February 12, 2021 | Outside Online
I use it every morning to loosen up my back, and if it’s too cold to run, I’ll go through a stretching routine or an online yoga session instead.5 Pieces of Gear That Help Me Stay Active During Winter | Jakob Schiller | February 11, 2021 | Outside Online
A cooler on the porch may be necessary to store meats and cold items.Hints From Heloise: Grocery delivery has its pros and cons | Heloise Heloise | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
It’s incredible how much comfort a nongreasy SPF moisturizer adds to your exposed skin on a cold ski day.
This is comedy based on a cold humor, detached, euphemistic, devoid of any generosity.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President | Pierre Assouline | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
We indulge in expensive cold-pressed juices and SoulCycle classes, justifying these purchases as investments in our health.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze | Lizzie Crocker | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
cold War fears could be manipulated through misleading art to attract readers to daunting material.
The vaccine is delivered through a “carrier virus” that causes a common cold in chimpanzees but does not affect humans.
Accusing his opponents of being locked in a cold War mind-set, it is Stone who is beholden to old orthodoxies.
Madame de Condillac stood watching him, her face composed, her glance cold.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
Being quieted by the Captain with a draught of cold tea, and made to sit down, the examination of the book proceeded.The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
When alone she sometimes picked it up and kissed the cold glass passionately.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Such throats are trying, are they not?In case one catches cold; Ah, yes!
Turn we our backs to the cold gloomy north, to the wet windy west, to the dry parching east—on to the south!
British Dictionary definitions for cold
having relatively little warmth; of a rather low temperature: cold weather; cold hands
without sufficient or proper warmth: this meal is cold
lacking in affection, enthusiasm, or warmth of feeling: a cold manner
not affected by emotion; objective: cold logic
sexually unresponsive or frigid
lacking in freshness: a 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 methods: cold 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 interest: cold 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 someone: the 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 force: the 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 preparation: he played his part cold
informal, mainly US and Canadian thoroughly; absolutely: she turned him down cold
- coldish, adjective
- coldly, adverb
- coldness, 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with cold
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
- blow hot and cold
- catch cold
- come in from the cold
- in a cold sweat
- in cold blood
- in cold storage
- in the cold light of day
- knock out (cold)
- leave one cold
- make one's blood run cold
- out cold
- out in the cold
- pour cold water on
- stone cold
- stop cold
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.