come in from the cold

Idioms & Phrases

come in from the cold

Also, come in out of the cold. Return to shelter and safety, be welcomed into a group. For example, Bill was fed up with traveling on his own for the company and hoped they'd let him come in from the cold, or After years of not being invited to join, Steve was finally asked to come in out of the cold. This phrase, generally used figuratively, gained currency in the 1960s with John LeCarré's best-selling spy novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, about a long-time British spy in the cold war who longed to abandon the dirty tricks of his profession. Also see come in out of the rain.

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