cold turkey

cold turkey

noun Informal.
1.
abrupt and complete withdrawal from the use of an addictive substance, as a narcotic drug, alcohol, or tobacco.
Idioms
2.
go cold turkey,
a.
to stop using an addictive substance abruptly and completely.
b.
to undergo sudden and complete withdrawal from a habitual activity or behavior pattern.
c.
to begin or do something without planning, preparation, or practice.

Origin:
1915–20, Americanism; probably from the phrase to talk cold turkey to speak bluntly about something unpleasant, variant of to talk turkey; see turkey

Dictionary.com Unabridged

cold-turkey

[kohld-tur-kee] Slang.
verb (used with object)
1.
to withdraw from (an addictive substance or a habit) abruptly and completely.
verb (used without object)
2.
to withdraw from an addictive substance or a habit abruptly and completely.
adjective
3.
abrupt and complete: cold-turkey withdrawal from drugs.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cold turkey
 
n
1.  slang a method of curing drug addiction by abrupt withdrawal of all doses
2.  the withdrawal symptoms, esp nausea and shivering, brought on by this method

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cold turkey
"without preparation," 1910; narrower sense of "withdrawal from an addictive substance" (originally heroin) first recorded 1921. Cold turkey is a food that requires little preparation, so "to quit like cold turkey" is to do so suddenly and without preparation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

cold turkey definition


To “go cold turkey” is to withdraw suddenly and completely from an addictive substance or some other form of dependency: “Many people who attempt to quit smoking do so by going cold turkey rather than by gradually cutting down.”

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 Dictionary

cold turkey definition


  1. mod.
    [stopping something] suddenly, without tapering off. (Said especially of stopping an addictive drug intake. Originally drugs.) : Martha stopped cold turkey and survived.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

cold turkey

Immediate, complete withdrawal from something, especially an addictive substance; also, without planning or preparation. For example, My bad shoulder forced me to quit playing tennis cold turkey, or I'd never done any rock climbing, but decided to try it cold turkey. This term may have come from the earlier expression talk turkey (for blunt speaking). At first used strictly for abrupt withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, it soon was transferred to quitting any habit or activity. [Early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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