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: completely cold
stone-cold soup
The weather was stone-cold and often gray, with a 20-mile-an-hour headwind scouring the backstretch.Lorna Lentini
often used figuratively
a stone-cold killer
… his stone-cold calculation was that he could score more money more quickly with a bat and glove.Scott Burton
US, informal : absolute, utter
In the last decade, DNA tests have provided stone-cold proof that 69 people were sent to prison and death row in North America for crimes they did not commit.Jim Dwyer et al.


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US, informal
: absolutely, utterly
stone-cold sober
Walter Anderson was a stone-cold handsome guy, a tall, powerfully built man with a thick head of wavy blond hair …Edgar Allen Beam

Examples of stone-cold in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Part self-effacing memoir, part how-to for writing screenplays, and a window into how the levers of power worked in Hollywood, this book is a stone-cold classic. Matt Brennan, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 One way to view the meteoric growth of women’s college basketball is through the career arc of its current protagonist: Caitlin Clark, the University of Iowa’s stone-cold mad bomber. Billy Witz, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Martin keeps starring in movies, some of which are stone-cold classics (L.A. Story, Roxanne, All of Me) and many of which are middlebrow at best. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024 When Clark, who is white, had done it, it had been widely characterized as a sign of her stone-cold cool. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 16 Mar. 2024 The big losers in Anderson will be those who tried to use lawfare to stop Donald Trump stone-cold dead in his tracks. Robert J. Delahunty, National Review, 14 Feb. 2024 The crowd under the retractable roof on a frigid day in the Dallas area had already been stone-cold silenced when Prescott tried to throw a slant to top receiver CeeDee Lamb. Schuyler Dixon, USA TODAY, 15 Jan. 2024 This fast, violent story centers on a stone-cold killer, a small-town sheriff and an average Joe who stumbles across a leather case filled with more than $2 million. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 13 June 2023 But because Michaela and I knew each other really well and look alike, Nicole decided to make [them] sisters, which was stone-cold genius. Tomris Laffly, Harper's BAZAAR, 31 May 2023
Now, 30 years after its initial release, the song is a stone-cold ’90s country classic and has been a mainstay in Jackson’s concerts for the past three decades. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 22 Feb. 2023

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


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1898, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stone-cold was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near stone-cold

Cite this Entry

“Stone-cold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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