from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal Discouragement, deterrence, or deprecation, as of a proposal or an idea deemed silly or ill-advised: "The President was careful not to throw cold water on the latest Soviet arms proposal” ( Christian Science Monitor).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. disparagement of a plan or hope or expectation


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Pictures of flapping canvas and piles of earth, of cold water and old brown bones flashed through my mind before coalescing into a single image of James Jessop receding into the hidden reaches of the forest, where an unseen woman in a summer dress waited to take him away.

    The Killing Kind

  • After the race, I went down to the Spokane River and waded in the cold water to help heal my legs.

    The Grace to Race

  • Here are some low-calorie summer beverage ideas:Infused water: You can create your own infused water by taking a pitcher of cold water and adding sliced fruit, vegetables or herbs such as cucumber, pear, mint, orange, lemons, limes, mangoes or strawberries and basil, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in Chicago and author of The Flexitarian Diet.

    Skinny, low-calorie beverages for hot summer days

  • When it dries, wet it again with cold water poured on the bandage, "she finished in a rush, then paused to think" And dried horsemint flowers and leaves are good for scalds; wet them in the hand and put them on the burn.

    The Clan of the Cave Bear

  • I have not seen the work of Sonnoni which you mention, but I have seen another work on Africa, (Parke's,) which I fear will throw cold water on the hopes of the friends of freedom.


  • She rinsed her mouth and splashed cold water on her face, then dried it with the bottom of her kameeze.

    Beneath My Mother’s Feet

  • I thought of a scene from An Officer and a Gentleman—a young Richard Gere hoisting a rifle over his head as he runs in place, while Louis Gossett, Jr. sprays ice cold water on his chest and face.

    CSS: Shaping the New You

  • There was a bath, of a sort, or rather two: a dank closet in one of the cellars where cold water sputtered from a dripping green pipe to form a primitive shower-bath, or a tin bath behind a flimsy partition on the open roof.

    O Jerusalem

  • Splashing cold water on her face, she brushed her hair into a ponytail and scrambled to get dressed.

    Humor for a Sister’s Heart

  • Keyes saw the message before it went, but, knowing the First Lord better than the admiral did, he believed that, even with the cold water thrown on it by de Robeck, this proposal would inspire Churchill to push a new attack through the Admiralty and the War Council.

    Castles of Steel


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