cold turkey

noun

Definition of cold turkey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : abrupt complete cessation of the use of an addictive drug also : the symptoms experienced by a person undergoing withdrawal from a drug
2 : unrelieved blunt language or procedure
3 : a cold aloof person

cold turkey

adverb

Definition of cold turkey (Entry 2 of 2)

: all at once : abruptly: such as
a : without a period of gradual adjustment, adaptation, or withdrawal quit smoking cold turkey
b : without preparation a new player who started the season cold turkey

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Other Words from cold turkey

Noun

cold-turkey \ ˈkōld-​ˈtər-​kē How to pronounce cold turkey (audio) \ transitive verb

Synonyms for cold turkey

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of cold turkey in a Sentence

Noun I tried lots of ways to stop smoking, even cold turkey. my new boss is a cold turkey and definitely not one for chitchat
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb But my colleague Jessica Gelt offers another option for honoring the traditional day in a new way: going cold turkey on even the virtual Thanksgiving gathering. Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: A very different Thanksgiving," 25 Nov. 2020 No, that doesn’t mean quitting the internet cold turkey. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, "It’s Time for a Digital Detox. (You Know You Need It.)," 25 Nov. 2020 Philip reportedly quit the habit cold turkey on his wedding day to Elizabeth. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Queen Elizabeth Insisted that Prince Philip Give Up Smoking When They Got Married," 17 Oct. 2020 For two days in 2018, the 37-year-old Native American pharmacist for the Chickasaw Nation pushed through the wrenching symptoms of opioid withdrawal, determined to go cold turkey. Washington Post, "Despair in Indian country," 29 June 2020 These guys are never going to be able to go cold turkey. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Better baseball on TV: What MLB can learn from ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Millionaire’," 4 May 2020 Giving up all that sugar from drinks and snacks, cold turkey, made for a nice headache. courier-journal.com, "Dominique Yates: 2 moments made me stop accepting I was overweight. My yearlong journey to health," 13 May 2020 Patients who tried to quit cold turkey faced extreme restlessness, irritability, insomnia, muscle tension, racing heartbeats, and other debilitating symptoms. Knvul Sheikh, BostonGlobe.com, "Dr. Heather Ashton, 90; helped people quit anxiety drugs," 5 Jan. 2020 Patients who tried to quit cold turkey faced extreme restlessness, irritability, insomnia, muscle tension, racing heartbeats and other debilitating symptoms. Knvul Sheikh, New York Times, "Dr. Heather Ashton, 90, Dies; Helped People Quit Anxiety Drugs," 3 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cold turkey.' 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 turkey

Noun

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1941, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cold turkey

Time Traveler

The first known use of cold turkey was in 1919

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Statistics for cold turkey

Cite this Entry

“Cold turkey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cold%20turkey. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cold turkey

cold turkey

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cold turkey

informal : the act of stopping a bad habit (such as taking drugs) in a sudden and complete way

cold turkey

noun
cold tur·​key | \ -ˈtər-kē How to pronounce cold turkey (audio) \

Medical Definition of cold turkey

: abrupt complete cessation of the use of an addictive drug also : the symptoms experienced by one undergoing withdrawal from a drug

Other Words from cold turkey

cold-turkey adverb or transitive verb

More from Merriam-Webster on cold turkey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cold turkey

Nglish: Translation of cold turkey for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cold turkey

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