be cold comfort

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be cold comfort

To fail as an intended source of solace. The news that I got a meager raise is cold comfort after not getting that big promotion. The fact that it's "stage one" is cold comfort to me—it's still cancer!
See also: cold, comfort

be cold comfort

if something someone tells you to make you feel better about a bad situation is cold comfort, it does not make you feel better (usually + to ) The doctor said only his legs are paralysed, not his whole body, but I think that will be cold comfort to him.
See also: cold, comfort