cold shoulder


Definition of cold shoulder 

: intentionally cold or unsympathetic treatment got the cold shoulder from an old friend

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Other Words from cold shoulder

cold-shoulder transitive verb

Synonyms & Antonyms for cold shoulder


brush-off, rebuff, repulse, silent treatment, snub


open arms

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Examples of cold shoulder in a Sentence

at the party the two former friends consciously gave each other the cold shoulder

Recent Examples on the Web

Key Democratic leaders definitely weren’t getting the cold shoulder. James Freeman, WSJ, "Can We Trust Facebook and Twitter?," 31 July 2018 While Ferguson and Prince Andrew have managed to remain on good terms, other members of the royal family have given her the cold shoulder. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "There’s another royal wedding coming up: Princess Eugenie’s," 5 Oct. 2018 If recent history is any indication, the first months of Lopez Obrador’s government are likely to see a Mexican cold shoulder toward the United States. Kate Linthicum,, "Rocky under Trump, U.S.-Mexico relations will be tested under new president Lopez Obrador," 3 July 2018 Even Rosie — sweet, sweet Rosie — initially gives George the cold shoulder, until her all-too-human wiring has her telling George what’s happening to him. Michael Andor Brodeur,, "What it means when we yell at Alexa," 4 May 2018 Dershowitz had predicted the cold shoulder from the Martha’s Vineyard crowd might happen. Mark Shanahan,, "The Martha’s Vineyard crowd strikes back at Alan Dershowitz," 4 July 2018 Soriano positioning himself as a Trump-friendly designer just as high fashion gave the Trumps the cold shoulder was shrewd. Elizabeth Raiss,, "Who Is Andre Soriano, The Gay, Immigrant Designer Obsessed With Donald Trump?," 27 June 2018 And what’s earned him the cold shoulder in Chilmark? Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "The Demise of Civil Discourse Has Ruined Alan Dershowitz's Summer Plans," 3 July 2018 So far, Realmuto is receiving a cold shoulder from voters, who have at least five other National League catchers ranked ahead of him in the annual exercise of selecting the All-Star starters. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Realmuto powers Marlins to win over Rockies with grand slam," 23 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of cold shoulder

1816, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near cold shoulder


cold shot


cold shoulder


cold shut


Statistics for cold shoulder

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cold shoulder

The first known use of cold shoulder was in 1816

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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