cold feet

plural noun

Definition of cold feet

: apprehension or doubt strong enough to prevent a planned course of action

Examples of cold feet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the giant home-builder got cold feet about the costs of environmental and engineering challenges, according to a person familiar with the deal. Time, "A Failed Trump Golf Course Is Now a Dilapidated State Park – but Is It Worth $26.1 Million?," 14 June 2019 Those same concerns persisted and Anadarko continued to have cold feet with respect to Oxy. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oxy's pursuit of Anadarko - two years in the making," 7 June 2019 Griezmann has been strongly linked with Barcelona and is expected to end up there eventually, though the recent suggestions are that the Spanish champions are having cold feet over the deal., "Atletico Madrid Consider Move for Alexis Sanchez as Replacement for Antoine Griezmann," 5 June 2019 By that stage, one faction in the administration got cold feet. Charles Glass, Harper's magazine, "“Tell Me How This Ends”," 10 Feb. 2019 Prince William got cold feet about his relationship with Kate in December 2006, royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl wrote in Vanity Fair. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Kate Middleton and Prince William Broke Up Before They Got Married," 23 Sep. 2018 The council is protecting itself in case the NHL gets cold feet over a potential lockout in 2019 and delays awarding the franchise. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Only groups standing between Seattle and NHL, new KeyArena are those that want them most," 16 Sep. 2018 If the Spurs stay patient and refuse to make a move with Leonard right away, maybe James gets cold feet about jumping to Los Angeles. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "As ‘pressure’ builds in LA, Spurs see reason to be patient," 27 June 2018 But in Wednesday’s issue — spoilers ahead — after a tough heart-to-heart talk with her best friend, who is also the groom’s sister, the would-be bride gets cold feet. George Gene Gustines, New York Times, "Two Say ‘I Do’ in X-Men Gold, but Not the Pair Fans Were Expecting," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cold feet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cold feet

1893, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cold feet

Statistics for cold feet

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cold feet

The first known use of cold feet was in 1893

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cold feet

cold feet


English Language Learners Definition of cold feet

: a feeling of worry or doubt that is strong enough to stop you from doing something that you planned to do

More from Merriam-Webster on cold feet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cold feet

Comments on cold feet

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


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!