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adj. cold·er, cold·est
a. Having a low temperature: cold water.
b. Being at a temperature that is less than what is required or what is normal: cold oatmeal.
c. Chilled by refrigeration or ice: cold beer.
a. Feeling no warmth; uncomfortably chilled: We were cold sitting by the drafty windows.
b. Appearing to be dead; unconscious: found him out cold on the floor.
c. Dead: was cold in his grave.
3. Lacking emotion; objective: cold logic.
a. Having little appeal to the senses or feelings: a cold decor.
b. Designating or being in a tone or color, such as pale gray, that suggests little warmth.
a. Not affectionate or friendly; aloof: a cold person; a cold nod.
b. Exhibiting or feeling no enthusiasm: a cold audience; a cold response to the new play; a concert that left me cold.
c. Devoid of sexual desire; frigid.
6. Having lost all freshness or vividness through passage of time: dogs attempting to catch a cold scent.
7. So intense as to be almost uncontrollable: cold fury.
8. Characterized by repeated failure, especially in a sport or competitive activity: The team fell into a slump of cold shooting.
1. To an unqualified degree; totally: was cold sober.
2. With complete finality: We turned him down cold.
3. Without advance preparation or introduction: took the exam cold and passed; walked in cold and got the new job.
a. Relative lack of warmth: Cold slows down chemical reactions.
b. The sensation resulting from lack of warmth; chill.
2. A condition of low air temperature; cold weather: went out into the cold and got a chill.
3. A viral infection characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the upper respiratory passages and usually accompanied by malaise, fever, chills, coughing, and sneezing. Also called common cold, coryza.
out in the cold
Lacking benefits given to others; neglected.

[Middle English, from Old English ceald; see gel- in Indo-European roots.]

cold′ly adv.
cold′ness n.
Synonyms: cold, arctic, chilly, cool, frigid, frosty, gelid, glacial, icy
These adjectives mean marked by a low or an extremely low temperature: cold air; an arctic climate; a chilly day; cool water; a frigid room; a frosty morning; gelid seas; glacial winds; icy hands.
Antonym: hot
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. (There was) a certain coldness, like that of a spinster about her —Boris Pasternak
  2. Behave exactly like a block of ice —Noël Coward, lyrics for “I’m So In Love”
  3. The chill in the air was like a constant infinitely small shudder —M. J. Farrell
  4. (Some laughs are as) cold and meaningless as yesterday’s buckwheat pancake —Josh Billings

    In Billings’ phonetic dialect ‘as’ was written as ‘az.’

  5. Cold as a dead man’s nose —William Shakespeare
  6. Cold as a fish —American colloquialism, attributed to New England
  7. Cold as a fish caught through the ice —F. van Wyck Mason
  8. Cold as a hole in the ice —Bertold Brecht
  9. (It grew as) cold as a key —Thomas Heywood
  10. Cold as a lizzard —Walter Savage Landor

    In one of Landor’s Conversation pieces, he has Fra Filippo Lippi commenting to Pope Eugenius IV that while an ordinary person could use an expression like “Cold as ice, a true poet would reach for more originality.” The above is one suggestion, “Cold as a lobster” is another.

  11. Cold as a miser’s heart —Donald Seaman
  12. [A smile] cold as a moan —Marge Piercy
  13. Cold as a murder’s heart —Richard Ford
  14. Cold as an igloo —Reynolds Price
  15. Cold as any stone —William Shakespeare
  16. Cold … as a pane of glass —Reynolds Price
  17. Cold as a snowman’s dick —William H. Gass
  18. (A kiss) cold as bacon —Joyce Cary
  19. Cold as charity —Anon

    An English phrase in use since the seventeenth century.

  20. Cold as coldest hell —Sylvia Berkman

    In a short story entitled Who Killed Cock Robin, the simile describes a character’s personality and continues as follows: “Cruel to every fingernail, and invariably polite.”

  21. Cold as dew to dropping leaves —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  22. Cold as fears —Algernon Charles Swinburne
  23. (I felt as) cold as Finnegan’s feet (the day they buried him) —Raymond Chandler
  24. Cold as if I had swallowed snowballs —William Shakespeare

    A variation of this snowball simile from The Merry Wives of Windsor is from another Shakespeare play, Pericles: “She sent him away as cold as a snowball.”

  25. (Your heart would be as heavy and) cold as iron shackles —George Garrett
  26. Cold as Monday morning’s barrenness —F. D. Reeve
  27. Cold as moonlight —Yvor Winters
  28. (Face) cold as newsprint —Philip Levine
  29. (Eyes) cold as river ice —Davis Grubb
  30. Cold as snakes —American colloquialism, attributed to Northeast
  31. (Men) cold as spring water —Julia O’Faolain
  32. (The wet air was as …) cold as the ashes of love —Raymond Chandler
  33. Cold as the cold between the stars —Terry Bisson
  34. Cold as the north side of a grave stone in winter —Proverb
  35. Cold as the snow —Lewis J. Bates
  36. Cold as the tomb of Christ —Maxwell Anderson
  37. Colder than a banker’s heart —William Diehl
  38. Colder than a dead lamb’s tail —Anon
  39. Colder than a lawyer’s heart —George V. Higgins
  40. Colder than a witch’s tits —American colloquialism, attributed to the South

    Like many regional expressions that gained national currency during World War II, this one is often referred to as an Army expression.

  41. (It was) colder than ice —Hans Christian Andersen

    Whether used as a pure simile “Cold as ice” or as cited above, the linking of snow and ice to cold has become as “Common as snowflakes in winter.” A story in the January 23, 1987 edition of the New York Times about a planned freedom march in Atlanta was highlighted with a blurb stating “We are going to march if it’s cold as ice … “proving once again that even without a new twist, a simile usually wins the spotlight.

  42. Cold like a sea mist and as ungraspable —Sylvia Townsend Warner
  43. Cold [in manner] like Christmas morning —Grace Paley
  44. The cold was like a sleep —Wallace Stevens
  45. The cold was like a thick vast sleep —Davis Grubb
  46. Cool and smooth, like the breath of an air conditioner —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  47. Cool as a snowbank —Louisa May Alcott
  48. (Her bare arms and shoulders felt as) cool as marble —Leo Tolstoy
  49. (Skin) cool as steel —Elizabeth Hardwick
  50. (Voice) cool as water on shaded rocks —Beryl Markham
  51. Could feel the cold climbing up his ankles like ships’ rats —Penelope Gilliatt
  52. Hardened her heart, like God had hardened Pharaoh’s heart against the Jews —Daphne Merkin

    The simile was particularly appropriate in Enchantment, a novel about an orthodox Jewish family.

  53. A heart as cold as English toast —Harry Prince
  54. It [television show] was hard as fiberglass —Norman Mailer
  55. My flesh was frozen for an inch below my skin, it was as if I were wearing icy armour —Rebecca West
  56. Unresponding … like a wall —D. H. Lawrence
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.coldness - the sensation produced by low temperatures; "he shivered from the cold"; "the cold helped clear his head"
temperature - the somatic sensation of cold or heat
2.coldness - a lack of affection or enthusiasm; "a distressing coldness of tone and manner"
emotionlessness, unemotionality - absence of emotion
stone - a lack of feeling or expression or movement; "he must have a heart of stone"; "her face was as hard as stone"
lukewarmness, tepidness - lack of passion, force or animation
3.coldness - the absence of heat; "the coldness made our breath visible"; "come in out of the cold"; "cold is a vasoconstrictor"
pressor, vasoconstrictive, vasoconstrictor - any agent that causes a narrowing of an opening of a blood vessel: cold or stress or nicotine or epinephrine or norepinephrine or angiotensin or vasopressin or certain drugs; maintains or increases blood pressure
temperature - the degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment (corresponding to its molecular activity)
chill, gelidity, iciness - coldness due to a cold environment
chilliness, coolness, nip - the property of being moderately cold; "the chilliness of early morning"
frostiness - coldness as evidenced by frost
cool - the quality of being at a refreshingly low temperature; "the cool of early morning"
high temperature, hotness, heat - the presence of heat
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Relative lack of physical warmth:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
kuldi; fálæti


[ˈkəʊldnɪs] N
1. (lit) (= lack of heat) → frío m
2. (fig) (= hostility) → frialdad f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈkəʊldnɪs] n
(physical) [hands, feet, body, skin] → froideur f; [water, air] → froideur f; [weather, winter, day] → froideur f
(emotional) [person] → froideur f; [voice, eyes] → froideur fcold shoulder n
to give sb the cold shoulder → battre froid à qncold-shoulder [ˌkəʊldˈʃəʊldər] vt [+ person] → battre froid àcold snap nvague f de froid (de courte durée)cold sore nbouton m de fièvrecold storage n
to keep sth in cold storage [+ food] → mettre qch en chambre froide
to put sth into cold storage, to put sth in cold storage [+ idea, book, scheme] → mettre qch en attentecold store n (British) (= building) → entrepôt m frigorifique (= room) → chambre f froidecold sweat n
to be in a cold sweat → avoir des sueurs froides
to be in a cold sweat about sth → avoir des sueurs froides au sujet de qchcold turkey n
to go cold turkey → décrocher
to be cold turkey → être en manqueCold War n
the Cold War → la guerre froide
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (lit, fig)Kälte f; (of answer, reception, welcome)betonte Kühle; the unexpected coldness of the weatherdie unerwartete Kälte; the coldness with which they planned the murderdie Kaltblütigkeit, mit der sie den Mord planten
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈkəʊldnɪs] n (of weather, room) → freddo; (of person) → freddezza
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(kəuld) adjective
1. low in temperature. cold water; cold meat and salad.
2. lower in temperature than is comfortable. I feel cold.
3. unfriendly. His manner was cold.
1. the state of being cold or of feeling the coldness of one's surroundings. She has gone to live in the South of France because she cannot bear the cold in Britain; He was blue with cold.
2. an illness with running nose, coughing etc. He has a bad cold; She has caught a cold; You might catch cold.
ˈcoldly adverb
in an unfriendly way. She looked at me coldly.
ˈcoldness noun
ˌcold-ˈblooded adjective
1. having blood (like that of a fish) which takes the same temperature as the surroundings of the body. cold-blooded creatures.
2. cruel and unfeeling. cold-blooded murder.
cold war
a major, especially political, struggle between nations which involves military threats but not fighting.
get cold feet
to lose courage. I was going to apply for the job but I got cold feet.
give (someone) the cold shoulder verb (also ˌcoldˈshoulder )
to show that one is unwilling to be friendly with (a person). All the neighbours gave her the cold shoulder; He cold-shouldered all his sister's friends.
in cold blood
deliberately and unemotionally. He killed them in cold blood.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. frialdad.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
"The coldness of the human heart," he said, with a grin, "will keep the creature in his present condition until I can reach home and revive him on the coals."
To represent me as viewing AMERICA with ill- nature, coldness, or animosity, is merely to do a very foolish thing: which is always a very easy one.
In other respects he did not appear to be changed: he had always been highly polite, but Lydgate had observed in him from the first a marked coldness about his marriage and other private circumstances, a coldness which he had hitherto preferred to any warmth of familiarity between them.
"Rest and a little tonic medicine will soon set me right." The clammy coldness of his skin made Emily shudder, as they shook hands.
To Marianne, indeed, the meeting between Edward and her sister was but a continuation of that unaccountable coldness which she had often observed at Norland in their mutual behaviour.
There was a disagreable coldness and Forbidding Reserve in her reception of me which was equally distressing and Unexpected.
Whether the captain acted by this maxim, I will not positively determine: so far we may confidently say, that his actions may be fairly derived from this diabolical principle; and indeed it is difficult to assign any other motive to them: for no sooner was he possessed of Miss Bridget, and reconciled to Allworthy, than he began to show a coldness to his brother which increased daily; till at length it grew into rudeness, and became very visible to every one.
Thus are ye unaware, also, of the delight of its coldness.
There was only one stage in the transition from coldness to inspiration, at which work was possible.
The countess, with a coldness her son had never seen in her before, replied that he was of age, that Prince Andrew was marrying without his father's consent, and he could do the same, but that she would never receive that intriguer as her daughter.
There was no trace of her old coldness and reserve, no shadow of her old bitterness.
The snow had fallen frequently, and in large quantities, and covered the ground to a depth of a foot; and the continued coldness of the weather prevented any thaw.