Definition of cold in English:

cold

Line breaks: cold
Pronunciation: /kəʊld
 
/

adjective

  • 1Of or at a low or relatively low temperature, especially when compared with the human body: a freezing cold day it’s cold outside a sharp, cold wind
    More example sentences
    • The water was warm, almost scalding compared to the cold shock of the temperature that one day.
    • Christmas eve, there is a cold wind, the temperatures in the desert dip below freezing.
    • The problem has been made worse by standing flood water, freezing temperatures and a cold wind.
    Synonyms
    chilly, cool, freezing, icy, snowy, icy-cold, glacial, wintry, crisp, frosty, frigid, bitter, bitterly cold, biting, piercing, numbing, sharp, raw, polar, arctic, Siberian
    informal nippy, brass monkeys
    British informal parky
    literary chill
    rare hyperborean, boreal, hibernal, hiemal, gelid, brumal
  • 1.1(Of a person) feeling uncomfortably cold: she was cold, and I put some more wood on the fire
    More example sentences
    • When we are cold and uncomfortable, we tend to lose focus on the task at hand.
    • As the flights lasted up to eighteen hours disembarking passengers were invariably cold and uncomfortable.
    • Rising gas prices are going to mean hungry and cold people all winter long.
    Synonyms
    chilly, chilled, cool, freezing, frozen, frozen stiff, frozen/chilled to the bone/marrow, shivery, numbed, benumbed, suffering from hypothermia, hypothermic, suffering from exposure
  • 1.2(Of food or drink) served or consumed without being heated or after cooling: a cold drink serve hot or cold
    More example sentences
    • Soft drinks and hot and cold food will also be available.
    • Cream teas, ice creams and cold drinks will be served throughout the afternoon.
    • Tea is almost always consumed hot, as people in Kazakhstan think that drinking cold beverages will make one sick.
  • 1.3Feeling or characterized by fear or horror: a cold shiver of fear
    More example sentences
    • Its presence set a shiver of apprehension down the warrior's spine, and cold fear bubbling in his stomach.
    • Dutifully, we step on the correct train and go home to the overdraft statement, or the divorce petition, or the cold fear that our kid may be a junkie.
    • I know that sense of dread that so many children will feel: that cold fear as Sunday draws to an end and Monday morning looms.
  • 1.4 [as complement] informal Unconscious: she was out cold
    More example sentences
    • It seems that one time a golf ball struck by Mr Hastings landed straight on some unfortunate man's head, knocking him out cold for a few minutes.
    • Fortunately, Rooibush tea has an extreme effect on me, and can knock me out cold within 20 minutes.
    • It was enough to send us into happiness, and to knock Spurs out cold.
    Synonyms
    unconscious, knocked out, out for the count, KO'd, insensible, comatose, senseless
    informal kayoed, dead to the world
    British informal spark out
    rare soporose, soporous
  • 1.5Dead: lying cold and stiff in a coffin
    More example sentences
    • Neither of us said a word as we watched the bright flame devour the cold, stiff copse of our dead son.
  • 2Lacking affection or warmth of feeling; unemotional: how cold and calculating he was her cold black eyes
    More example sentences
    • Did you know that as well as being cold and unemotional, we are also polite, traditional and reserved?
    • Despite her terrible physical condition at the moment, the tone was so unemotionally cold.
    • While being a rather cold and calculating man on the whole, Maddock had a soft spot for children.
    Synonyms
    unfriendly, cool, inhospitable, unwelcoming, unsympathetic, forbidding, stony, frigid, frosty, glacial, lukewarm, haughty, supercilious, disdainful, aloof, distant, remote, indifferent, reserved, withdrawn, uncommunicative, unresponsive, unfeeling, unemotional, dispassionate, passionless, wooden, impersonal, formal, stiff, austere; cold-blooded, cold-hearted, stony-hearted
    informal stand-offish, offish
    rare gelid
  • 2.1Not affected by emotion; objective: cold statistics
    More example sentences
    • Their victory had been a triumph of cold logic over raw emotion.
    • Spare a thought for the machinations of the global economy and the cold statistics we hear and read so much.
    • Statistics can be used to say anything, but always appear relentless and objective and cold.
  • 2.2Sexually unresponsive; frigid: Elise was cold and barren
    More example sentences
    • Those with a flat, narrow mount of Venus girdled by the Life Line are cold and unresponsive.
    • Sexual or cold, scheming or honest, Huston seems as driven to triumph as Lily is.
  • 2.3Depressing or dispiriting; not suggestive of warmth: a cold light streamed through the window
    More example sentences
    • I would much rather that than the cold impersonality we had going on right now.
    • London's image to many is cold, wealthy and impersonal, but its real history is of revolt and subversion.
    • Thus, when one side was bathed in light and warmth, the other would be a cold, dismal place shrouded in darkness.
  • 2.4(Of a colour) containing pale blue or grey.
    More example sentences
    • Some people think blue is a cold colour, but it doesn't have to be.
    • As for the cold colour palette, a pink blouse matched with a grey knee-length skirt will show your authority.
    • Grey is the cold neutral colour; many languages identify it with blue or green.
  • 3(Of the scent or trail of a hunted person or animal) no longer fresh and easy to follow: the trail went cold
    More example sentences
    • The trail has to be cold by now, too much time has gone by and we don't know if he's changed his look again.
    • However, following this early breakthrough the trail went cold.
    • Last night officers insisted the trail had not gone cold.
  • 3.1 [predic.] (In children’s games) far from finding or guessing what is sought.
  • 4 [as complement] Without preparation or rehearsal: they went into the test cold
    More example sentences
    • When he's warmed up at the start of a game instead of coming in cold off the bench, he is in less danger of injury.
    • But it's still notable he was able to step in cold and run the offense so efficiently.
    • Manufacturers had difficulty ramping up to meet the Army's needs from a cold industrial base.
  • 4.1 informal At one’s mercy: they had him cold

noun

Back to top  
  • 1 [mass noun] A low temperature; cold weather; a cold environment: my teeth chattered with the cold they nearly died of cold
    More example sentences
    • But now they could die of starvation or cold as temperatures drop to freezing at night.
    • The cold of the autumn rain made her very bones ache; worry for her brother grew into real fear.
    • Weather is usually seasonal varying from extreme cold to temperate.
  • 2A common infection in which the mucous membrane of the nose and throat becomes inflamed, typically causing running at the nose, sneezing, and a sore throat: Suzie’s got a cold a bad cold [as modifier]: a cold remedy
    More example sentences
    • Many everyday illnesses like colds and sore throats can be easily treated at home without visiting a doctor.
    • Most coughs and sore throats and all colds are viral infections.
    • Minor illnesses such as colds and flu were the most common cause of sickness absence but most employers said stress was on the increase.

adverb

North American informal Back to top  
  • Completely; entirely: we stopped cold behind a turn in the staircase
    More example sentences
    • There are blog sites and there are blog sites, but for us it seems that the Blast stopped the Comments cold.
    • Trent stopped cold and very slowly turned around, his eyes throwing flames at David.
    • The mud gets so thick and sticky that the clumps in my V-brakes stop my wheels cold.

Phrases

(as) cold as ice (or stone or the grave etc.)

Very cold: her hand was as cold as ice
More example sentences
  • He could see why Sarah wouldn't like him; he was as cold as stone.
  • I glared up at his face, which was like usual, as cold as stone.
  • He was as cold as stone, no true emotion lay behind his eyes.

catch a cold

(also catch cold)
Become infected with a cold.
More example sentences
  • Also, his lungs became infected every time he caught a cold.
  • If your child touches his or her mouth or nose after touching skin or some other surface that's been contaminated by one of the rhinoviruses that causes colds, your child may catch a cold.
  • I have no plans for Canada Day and I might not be doing absolutely anything, because I am feeling pretty ill right now, I think I caught a cold and my throat is swollen.
Encounter difficulties: the investors who have put up around $30 million could catch a cold
More example sentences
  • Unless the government is prepared to act and act soon, one of Scotland's biggest industries could soon be catching a cold.
  • ‘When Wall Street sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.’
  • Even the Mail's City pages get in on the act, with a piece on ‘Why the markets catch a cold after a Labour victory’.

cold comfort

Poor or inadequate consolation: another drop in the inflation rate was cold comfort for the 2.74 million jobless
More example sentences
  • Orwell's efforts brought him little but calumny in his lifetime; posthumous vindication, even on such a grand scale, seems rather cold comfort.
  • But that will be cold comfort to the millions of children who have been hit hard by these arbitrary policies, shamelessly justified in the name of school safety.
  • But that was cold comfort for the former Vermont governor, whose once promising campaign unravelled further when the head of a major union withdrew his support.

cold feet

Loss of nerve or confidence: after arranging to meet I got cold feet and phoned her saying I was busy
More example sentences
  • The Rochdale cabaret singer feared his Norwegian bride had got cold feet and decided to return to her homeland without him.
  • The central government has developed cold feet on the promised legislation to regulate fee and admissions in professional colleges.
  • Apparently, one - or possibly more - of the investors may have gotten cold feet.
Synonyms
hesitate, falter, delay, drag one's feet, stall, think twice, change one's mind, waver, oscillate, fluctuate, vacillate, be undecided, be indecisive, be irresolute, see-saw, yo-yo; British haver, hum and haw
informal sit on the fence, dilly-dally, shilly-shally, pussyfoot around, blow hot and cold

the cold shoulder

A show of intentional unfriendliness; rejection: the new England manager gave him the cold shoulder
More example sentences
  • There are various music technology workshops run in and around the city by Future Prospects, but there is nowhere for these new skills to be used, so young people are given the cold shoulder.
  • After receiving the cold shoulder from the club, Scott has been forced to travel 25 miles on winter nights to attend the Edzell club, which welcomes female members.
  • So, after getting the cold shoulder from everyone this morning, for invading their space last night, I walked up to the cafe by myself.
Synonyms
snub, ignore, slight, spurn, shun, disdain, look right through, look past, turn one's back on, cold-shoulder, freeze out, steer clear of; British send to Coventry
informal give someone the brush-off, cut, cut dead, knock back, give someone the go-by
British informal blank

cold-shoulder someone

Reject or be deliberately unfriendly to someone: she was cold-shouldered by Boston society as a pushy outsider
More example sentences
  • They won't cold-shoulder you like those who are still deluded enough to think they running the show.
  • The platoon cold-shoulder him, and when he makes them some tea and biscuits, none of them accept.
  • The main problem for Daihatsu - and other established micro-car-makers - is that Australians now tend to cold-shoulder them for more expensive brands offering a richer driving experience.

cold steel

Weapons such as swords or knives collectively: I say to you, give lawbreakers cold steel!
More example sentences
  • Swords clashed, cold steel shining in the candlelight.
  • Yet to Muscat's credit, though he plays by the sword he accepts being put to the cold steel when it is wielded by those publicly lambasting him.
  • So much for rhetoric, always preferred by politicians and other hail fellow well met charmers to the cold steel of logic.

in cold blood

Without feeling or mercy; ruthlessly: the government forces killed them in cold blood

in the cold light of day

When one has had time to consider a situation objectively: in the cold light of day it all seemed so ridiculous
More example sentences
  • You have got to sit down and look at things in the cold light of day and I know where the problems are and I know where we can put it right but it is not going to happen overnight.
  • We'll sit down in the cold light of day, understand the facts, discuss it with the player and decide what we want to do.
  • It's interesting how, after a couple of glasses of wine late on a Friday night, Lisa's quite happy to let me put a photo of her on my website. It's slightly less interesting how, in the cold light of day, she completely changes her mind.

out in the cold

Ignored; neglected: the talks left the French out in the cold
More example sentences
  • And on top of that, he steals all your friends and you're left out in the cold.
  • And we just can't get a hearing, we can't get recognition and we're still out in the cold.
  • Racing officials today assured York residents they would not be left out in the cold when tickets for Royal Ascot in the city finally go on sale.

throw (or pour) cold water on

Be discouraging or negative about: she had poured cold water on the idea
More example sentences
  • These reports, in turn, threw cold water on what was otherwise a lovely day.
  • Instead, she threw cold water on all that Internet euphoria.
  • Ever since the trendy Lefties in our society managed to throw cold water on competitive sports as part of the curriculum, our children have lost out on weekly exercise in schools.

Derivatives

coldish

adjective
More example sentences
  • It's a coldish morning, and there're no visitors allowed this morning due to the Amnesty International protestors causing a ruckus outside the fence.
  • It was a coldish night, but everywhere there was a pagan semi-nudity.

coldness

noun
More example sentences
  • A typed letter, no matter how personal, has a formality and a coldness attached to it.
  • In these narratives dominated by passion, even passion takes on a curiously distancing coldness.
  • It may have an apparent clinical coldness about it, in order to cope with dispiriting situations.

Origin

Old English cald, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch koud and German kalt, also to Latin gelu 'frost'.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
noun
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