cold sweat


: concurrent perspiration and chill usually associated with fear, pain, or shock

Example Sentences

The patient feels faint and is in a cold sweat. I break out in a cold sweat when I think about asking my boss for a pay raise.
Recent Examples on the Web Motion sickness can begin with a generally dizzy or queasy feeling, escalate to cold sweat, and more extreme nausea, and cause vomiting. Alesandra Dubin, Travel + Leisure, 5 Apr. 2023 No blotching; no cold sweat. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 2 June 2020 That’s especially true for women, who are more likely to experience nausea or indigestion, cold sweats, and profound, unexplained fatigue, Dr. Stempien-Otero says. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, 16 Feb. 2023 The detective broke out in a cold sweat. Simon Rich, The New Yorker, 8 July 2021 Trey Lance could have them in a cold sweat. Sporting Green Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Apr. 2021 Wake up in a cold sweat again? Leslie Nemo, Discover Magazine, 3 Dec. 2020 Other possible signs include cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. Susan Scutti, CNN, 3 Jan. 2023 Signs of a heart attack include but aren’t limited to chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. Dallas News, 25 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cold sweat.' 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

1582, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cold sweat was in 1582

Dictionary Entries Near cold sweat

Cite this Entry

“Cold sweat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

cold sweat

: perspiration and chill occurring together and usually associated with fear, pain, or shock

Medical Definition

cold sweat

: perspiration accompanied by feelings of chill or cold and usually induced or accompanied by dread, fear, or shock

More from Merriam-Webster on cold sweat

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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