Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

cold turkey

noun

Simple Definition of cold turkey

  • : the act of stopping a bad habit (such as taking drugs) in a sudden and complete way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cold turkey

  1. 1 :  abrupt complete cessation of the use of an addictive drug; also :  the symptoms experienced by a person undergoing withdrawal from a drug

  2. 2 :  unrelieved blunt language or procedure

  3. 3 :  a cold aloof person

cold–turkey transitive verb

Examples of cold turkey in a sentence

  1. I tried lots of ways to stop smoking, even cold turkey.

  2. <my new boss is a cold turkey and definitely not one for chitchat>



1921

First Known Use of cold turkey

1921

Rhymes with cold turkey


2

cold turkey

adverb

Definition of cold turkey

  1. :  all at once :  abruptly: as a :  without a period of gradual adjustment, adaptation, or withdrawal <quit smoking cold turkey> b :  without preparation <a new player who started the season cold turkey>



1941

First Known Use of cold turkey

1941


Medical Dictionary

cold turkey

play
noun cold tur·key \-ˈtər-kē\

Medical Definition of cold turkey

  1. :  abrupt complete cessation of the use of an addictive drug; also :  the symptoms experienced by one undergoing withdrawal from a drug

cold–turkey adverb or transitive verb




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cold turkey? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of perception or understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe reduce perplex disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ