- a loss or lack of courage or confidence; an onset of uncertainty or fear: She got cold feet when asked to sing a solo.
Origin of cold feet
- informal loss or lack of courage or confidence
Word Origin and History for cold feet
1893, American English; the presumed Italian original (avegh minga frecc i pee) is a Lombard proverb meaning "to have no money," but some of the earliest English usages refer to gamblers, so a connection is possible.
To “have cold feet” is to be too fearful to undertake or complete an action: “The backup quarterback was called into the game, but he got cold feet and refused to go in.”