from The Century Dictionary.
- Cold as a key; icy; lifeless; inanimate.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- adjective Formerly, a proverbial expression. Cold as a metallic key; lifeless.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- adjective obsolete
Coldas a metallic key; lifeless.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Church-Papists, of prophane Atheists, key-cold worldlings, and lukewarme professors.
That reason hath no place in you, quoth Leonela, forasmuch as love, according as some have said of it, doth sometimes fly, other times it goes; it runs with this man, and goes leisurely with the other; it makes some key-cold, and inflames others; some it wounds, and some it kills; it begins the career of his desires in an instant, and in the very same it concludes it likewise.
'Too late, Mr. Cregeen, too late,' says he, and the word was scarce out of his mouth when he was key-cold in a minute, and gone into the night of all flesh that's lost.
Secondly, There is a partial zeal: in one thing, fire hot -- in another key-cold; zealous in this thing, and yet careless in another.
Till I be key-cold dead, I shall never forget my first sight of him in that dreadful place -- "and then she described again her overwhelming emotions when she perceived he was alike apathetic to his pauper condition, and to her love and presence.