cold-blood·​ed ˈkōl(d)-ˈblə-dəd How to pronounce cold-blooded (audio)
: done or acting without consideration, compunction, or clemency
cold-blooded murder
: matter-of-fact, emotionless
a cold-blooded assessment
: having cold blood
specifically : having a body temperature not internally regulated but approximating that of the environment
or coldblood : of mixed or inferior breeding
: noticeably sensitive to cold
cold-bloodedly adverb
cold-bloodedness noun

Examples of cold-blooded in a Sentence

a cold-blooded criminal who never once showed an ounce of mercy to his victims the cold-blooded selfishness shown by the miser when confronted by people in need a cold-blooded assessment of the situation showed that the company needed either to lay off workers or go bankrupt he may not be as fancy as the other horses they own, but that cold-blooded gelding is safe and gentle
Recent Examples on the Web Scientists used to think that all dinosaurs were cold-blooded, meaning that, like modern lizards, their body temperatures were dependent on their surroundings. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 May 2024 Paul Walter Hauser is known for both his warm-hearted and cold-blooded characters on screen. Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 15 May 2024 Scientists once thought of dinosaurs as sluggish, cold-blooded creatures. CBS News, 15 May 2024 That migration suggests that some dinos may have developed the ability to generate body heat, unlike their cold-blooded cousins, whose internal temps were subjected to the whims of weather. Paul Smaglik, Discover Magazine, 15 May 2024 In the film, Ali, a university professor, is haunted by the suspicious death of his ailing mother, and coerces his enigmatic gardener to execute a cold-blooded act of vengeance. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 14 May 2024 Being cold-blooded, the chilly depths cause their cells to slow down, resulting in slower growth but also less wear and tear over time. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 25 Apr. 2024 How a ‘cold-blooded killer’ called Smiley, who haunted L.A. for 14 years, finally faced justice. ‘Help me, help me’: A Metro bus driver is stabbed, reviving fears about safety. Kevinisha Walker, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2024 Even a cold-blooded cost-benefit analysis justifies an investment, once again, of American blood, treasure, and leadership attention. Suzanne Maloney, Foreign Affairs, 18 Apr. 2024

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

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of cold-blooded was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near cold-blooded

Cite this Entry

“Cold-blooded.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: lacking or showing a lack of natural human feelings
a cold-blooded criminal
: having a body temperature not regulated by the body and close to that of the environment
: sensitive to cold
cold-bloodedly adverb

Medical Definition


cold-blood·​ed ˈkōl(d)-ˈbləd-əd How to pronounce cold-blooded (audio)
: having a body temperature not internally regulated but approximating that of the environment : poikilothermic
cold-blooded amphibians and reptiles
cold-bloodedness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on cold-blooded

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