Etymology: Middle English, from Old English ceald, cald; akin to Old High German kalt cold, Latin gelu frost, gelare to freeze
Date: before 12th century
a. having or being a temperature that is uncomfortably low for humans <it is cold outside today> <a cold drafty attic> b. having a relatively low temperature or one lower than normal or expected <the bath water has gotten cold> c. not heated: as (1) of food served without heating especially after initial cooking or processing <cold cereal> <cold roast beef> (2) served chilled or with ice <a cold drink> (3) involving processing without the use of heat <cold working of steel> 2. a. marked by a lack of the warmth of normal human emotion, friendliness, or compassion <a cold stare> <got a cold reception>; also not moved to enthusiasm <the movie leaves me cold> b. not colored or affected by personal feeling or bias ; detached, indifferent <cold chronicles recorded by an outsider — Andrew Sarris>; also impersonal, objective <cold facts> <cold reality> c. marked by sure familiarity ; pat <had her lines cold weeks before opening night> 3. conveying the impression of being cold: as a. depressing, gloomy <cold gray skies> b. cool 6a 4. a. marked by the loss of normal body heat <cold hands>; especially dead b. giving the appearance of being dead ; unconscious <passed out cold> 5. a. having lost freshness or vividness ; stale <dogs trying to pick up a cold scent> b. far off the mark ; not close to finding or solving — used especially in children's games c. marked by poor or unlucky performance <the team's shooting turned cold in the second half> d. not prepared or suitably warmed up • coldish adjective • coldly adverb • coldness noun II. noun Date: 13th century 1. bodily sensation produced by loss or lack of heat <they died of the cold> 2. a condition of low temperature <extremes of heat and cold>; especially cold weather 3. a bodily disorder popularly associated with chilling; specifically common cold III. adverb Date: 1889 1. with utter finality ; absolutely, completely <turned down cold>; also abruptly <stopped them cold> 2. a. without introduction or advance notice <walked in cold to apply for a job> b. without preparation or warm-up <was asked to perform the solo cold>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.