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

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 Instead, Trump and his team gave Ward the cold shoulder. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Kelli Ward may have missed her shot in the GOP primary for Senate. Here's why," 11 June 2018 The New York Yankees are reportedly threatening to give ESPN the cold shoulder unless the network alters an upcoming broadcast schedule that currently requires the team to play three games in less than 24 hours. Greg Norman, Fox News, "New York Yankees threaten to boycott ESPN over plan to play 3 games in 24 hours, report says," 4 June 2018 And others still have decided against giving the director the cold shoulder. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Woody Allen Says He Should Be the “Poster Boy” for the #MeToo Movement," 4 June 2018 Not surprisingly, until recently the critical establishment had mostly given Malone the cold shoulder. Dan Hyman,, "Explaining Post Malone: Why is the rapper so popular?," 31 May 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

29 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cold shoulder

The first known use of cold shoulder was in 1816

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Comments on cold shoulder

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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