in a cold sweat

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in a cold sweat

in a state of fear. He stood there in a cold sweat, waiting for something bad to happen. I was in a cold sweat while they counted the ballots.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

Feeling nervous or terrified, as in When I looked over the cliff, I broke out in a cold sweat. This expression refers to perspiring accompanied by a feeling of cold, which can be induced by acute fear as well as by fever. [Late 1700s]
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

or

in a sweat

If someone is in a cold sweat or in a sweat, they are feeling extremely anxious or afraid. She was in a cold sweat thinking of what the next day's visit would bring. She dialled his number every half-hour. No reply. By two in the morning she was in a sweat of totally illogical jealousy. Note: People often say that they wake up in a cold sweat, meaning that they suddenly wake up, feeling extremely anxious or afraid. I woke up in a cold sweat, thinking I'd made the wrong decision. Note: You can also say that something brings you out in a cold sweat or that you come out in a cold sweat thinking about something. I still come out in a cold sweat thinking about what might have happened. Thoughts of the bank loan brought him out in a cold sweat.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

mod. in a state of fear. He stood there in a cold sweat, waiting for something to happen.
See also: cold, sweat
References in periodicals archive ?
Symptoms of a heart attack include discomfort in the chest and other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, and lightheadedness.
And when they were having a heart attack, the symptoms most reported were shortness of breath (58%), weakness (55%), unusual fatigue (43%), cold sweat (39%) and dizziness (39%).
I would guess what gets Alan Greenspan up at night with a cold sweat is deflation.
Still, Western companies' most recent experiences in the region would cause most executives to break into a cold sweat at the thought of tackling the Asian "tiger.
Anxious thoughts also raise blood pressure, and cause hand tremors, cold sweat, a knotted stomach, and pervasive weakening (as when we say "sick with dread").
Environmental toxins are the stuff nightmares are made of--but there's no need to wake up in a cold sweat over packing your child's lunch.
Every now and then, great institutions wake up in a cold sweat and--a bit like Kafka's Gregor Samsa--discover they have metamorphosed into something resembling a dinosaur.
I was in a cold sweat after having had one of the worst nightmares of my life.
As he slips behind the controls of his hovercraft, he feels a gripping pain in his chest, followed by shortness of breath and a cold sweat.
To this day," Gray writes, "some 10 years later, I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
Payment processor Worldpay said: "11th-hour shoppers will break into a cold sweat at the thought of the high street on the busiest shopping day of the year.
uk QMY husband has had the mad idea of going camping this year, which has left me in a cold sweat recalling horrible memories of the Guides.
THEY say you become more right wing as you age, so I came out in a cold sweat last week on finding myself agreeing with a Tory proposal.
I contacted so many fighters seeing who was available when Sam pulled out, but you either get told they aren't in a gym or face trainers who break out in a cold sweat when you mention a tough fight.
He couldn't get further than the front entrance to the park without breaking out into a cold sweat.