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cold fish

See more synonyms for cold fish on Thesaurus.com
noun Informal.
  1. a person who is very reserved or aloof in manner or who lacks normal cordiality, sympathy, or other feeling.
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Origin of cold fish

First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cold fish

Historical Examples

  • That would have been where cold-fish Balmordan hadn't been able to make it against his mind-blocks finally.

    Legacy

    James H Schmitz


British Dictionary definitions for cold fish

cold fish

noun
  1. an unemotional and unfriendly person
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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

Idioms and Phrases with cold fish

cold fish

A hard-hearted, unfeeling individual, one who shows no emotion, as in Not even the eulogy moved him; he's a real cold fish. This expression was used by Shakespeare in The Winter's Tale (4:4): “It was thought she was a woman, and was turn'd into a cold fish.” However, it came into wider use only in the first half of the 1900s.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.