cold shoulder


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

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 The voluminous tulle piece included cold shoulders and a corseted bodice, and was paired with dazzling diamond drop earrings and stacks of diamond bracelets and rings. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 May 2023 China’s cold shoulder to a hotline call from Washington underscores glaring misunderstandings in the U.S.-China relationship and key differences in how the two sides view crisis management. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Mar. 2023 Elspeth is a virtuoso at the warm sun/cold shoulder art of manipulation, whose elegant gazes of cool disapproval can slam doors. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2023 The standout episode of 2023 was one on plus sizes, which explored why there are such subpar options available for a majority of the country’s consumers (and why every plus-size top has cold shoulders). Jenny Singer, Glamour, 21 Dec. 2023 Consider the closing look, a liquid gold floor-length looker featuring a cape and cold shoulder. Erik Maza, Town & Country, 9 Sep. 2023 Viewers were increasingly turning a cold shoulder to the gusher of shows from new streaming services trying to catch up with Netflix, and studios and streamers alike are expected to focus on a smaller number of high-quality shows. Samantha Chery, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 Should a state go rogue, the theory has it, the international order will punish it with a cold shoulder diplomatically and economically. Eugene Kontorovich, WSJ, 21 Sep. 2023 This cold shoulder mini comes in 25 colors, and offers a relaxed fit for easy wearing. Cameron Jenkins, Good Housekeeping, 30 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cold shoulder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1816, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cold shoulder was in 1816

Dictionary Entries Near cold shoulder

Cite this Entry

“Cold shoulder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

cold shoulder

: treatment that is purposely unfriendly
cold-shoulder verb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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