Dictionary.com

cold shoulder

[ kohld-shohl-der ]
/ ˈkoʊld ˈʃoʊl dər /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: cold shoulder / cold-shouldered / cold-shouldering / cold-shoulders on Thesaurus.com

noun
a show of deliberate indifference or disregard.
adjective
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.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of cold shoulder

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

Other definitions for cold shoulder (2 of 2)

cold-shoulder
[ kohld-shohl-der ]
/ ˈkoʊldˈʃoʊl dər /

verb (used with object)
to snub; show indifference to.

Origin of cold-shoulder

First recorded in 1810–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cold shoulder in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cold shoulder

cold shoulder
/ informal /

noun
the cold shoulder a show of indifference; a slight
verb cold-shoulder (tr)
to treat with indifference
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

Cultural definitions for cold shoulder

cold shoulder

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.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with cold shoulder

cold shoulder

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]

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