View synonyms for cold shoulder

cold shoulder


[ kohld shohl-der ]


  1. a show of deliberate indifference or disregard.


  1. Also cold-shoul·der. (of a sleeved garment) having a portion of each sleeve cut out, leaving the shoulders exposed:

    cold shoulder tops for everyday wear;

    a cold-shoulder dress.



[ kohld-shohl-der ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to snub; show indifference to.

cold shoulder


  1. the cold shoulder
    a show of indifference; a slight


  1. to treat with indifference

cold shoulder

  1. To “give someone the cold shoulder” is to ignore someone deliberately: “At the party, Carl tried to talk to Suzanne, but she gave him the cold shoulder.”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of cold shoulder1

First recorded in 1810–20; cold shoulder def 2 was first recorded in 2010–15

Origin of cold shoulder2

First recorded in 1810–20
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Idioms and Phrases

Deliberate coldness or disregard, a slight or snub. For example, When I said hello to her in the library, she gave me the cold shoulder and walked away . This term, which first appeared in writings by Sir Walter Scott and others, supposedly alludes to the custom of welcoming a desired guest with a meal of roasted meat, but serving only a cold shoulder of beef or lamb—a far inferior dish—to those who outstayed their welcome. [Early 1800s]
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Example Sentences

Ignoring them may be the best solution, but some might take your cold shoulder as coals for their fire, making matters even worse.

After giving a cold shoulder to cryptocurrencies for years, India’s central bank is finally set to launch its own digital currency, and investors in the country have a reason to cheer.

From Quartz

For almost 30 years, NASA has given Venus the cold shoulder.

If they did so, they would likely not get a cold shoulder from President Putin.

Cersei had been giving the Jaime the cold shoulder since his return, and the one-handed “Kingslayer” reaches his breaking point.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is also getting the cold shoulder from his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu.

The cold shoulder Elsa casts against her will is crucial to the plot.

The financial markets are giving Argentina the cold shoulder?

There was Cliff Manning, you turned the cold shoulder to him because he couldnt talk grammar.

(That's irony red-hot it seemeth to me); O for a turn of its dreaded cold shoulder!O what a comfort an ague would be!

Brother,” said Heika, with a sad but earnest look, “I must give this man the cold shoulder.

I tell you, mother, we all missed a figure in turning the cold shoulder to her; and how much money she has made!

It was situated upon the cold shoulder of a hill, sixteen miles from the nearest station.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




cold rubbercold shower