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cold feet

noun, Informal.
1.
a loss or lack of courage or confidence; an onset of uncertainty or fear:
She got cold feet when asked to sing a solo.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cold feet
  • But when his jealous rival hands him a note suggesting that his bride-to-be has a wooden leg, he gets cold feet.
  • Yet they are not the only ones to have developed cold feet.
  • Both countries are now getting cold feet, claiming misuse of the resolution's elastic language.
  • And shareholders will presumably countenance only a certain amount of borrowing before they get cold feet.
  • Even some companies that stand to be enriched by the construction work have begun getting cold feet.
  • There is no risk of workers and customers having cold feet.
  • For brave winter cyclists, cold feet can be a problem.
British Dictionary definitions for cold feet

cold feet

plural noun
1.
(informal) loss or lack of courage or confidence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cold feet
n.

1893, American English; the presumed Italian original (avegh minga frecc i pee) is a Lombard proverb meaning "to have no money," but some of the earliest English usages refer to gamblers, so a connection is possible.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cold feet in Culture

cold feet definition


To “have cold feet” is to be too fearful to undertake or complete an action: “The backup quarterback was called into the game, but he got cold feet and refused to go in.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for cold feet

cold feet

Related Terms

have cold feet


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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