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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.