catch cold

Idioms & Phrases

catch cold

Also, catch one's death (of cold). Become infected with a cold virus, contract a bad cold, as in Jane manages to catch cold on every important business trip, or Put on your hat or you'll catch your death. The first term originally (16th century) meant becoming chilled by exposure to cold and took on its present meaning in the late 1600s. The hyperbolic variant, often shortened, is somewhat newer.

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