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cold turkey

Line breaks: cold tur¦key
informal

Definition of cold turkey in English:

noun

[mass noun]
1The abrupt and complete cessation of taking a drug to which one is addicted: I had to go cold turkey
More example sentences
  • Fantasy junkies know they can't go cold turkey, though.
  • If you need to go cold turkey, you need to go cold turkey.
  • So, I admit that those who go cold turkey may go through a rough time with withdrawals initially, but the majority are still non-smokers after one year.
1.1The unpleasant symptoms caused by suddenly ceasing to take a drug to which one is addicted: stopping the drug may result in cold turkey
More example sentences
  • Over six weeks he gradually reduced his intake of the new drug to nil, and then went through cold turkey as he experienced the symptoms of methadone withdrawal.
  • Addicts are prescribed dihydrocodeine to make their cold turkey manageable when they're at sea, but there's also a black market for prescribed drugs here.
  • But it is hugely addictive, and when you stop doing it, it is like horrendous cold turkey.

adverb

chiefly North American Back to top  
In a sudden and abrupt manner: I had to quit drinking cold turkey
More example sentences
  • ‘Last September I quit smoking and drinking cold turkey,’ said Tarr.
  • After you've turned citizens into junkies, with government as the pusher, it's very hard to turn them back again, and even harder to get them to quit cold turkey.
  • A network spokesperson says that doesn't mean he's quitting the news biz cold turkey.

Definition of cold turkey in:

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