dead of winter

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dead of winter

The middle of winter, which is usually especially cold. I find myself dreaming of tropical islands every year in the dead of winter.
See also: dead, of, winter

dead of

The period of greatest intensity of something, such as darkness or cold. For example, I love looking at seed catalogs in the dead of winter, when it's below zero outside. The earliest recorded use of dead of night, for "darkest time of night," was in Edward Hall's Chronicle of 1548: "In the dead of the night ... he broke up his camp and fled." Dead of winter, for the coldest part of winter, dates from the early 1600s.
See also: dead, of

the dead of winter

the coldest part of winter.
The sense of dead here and in the previous idiom developed in the 16th century from dead time of —, meaning the period most characterized by lack of signs of life or activity.
See also: dead, of, winter
References in classic literature ?
It was in the dead of winter and the groom's party went over to the wedding in sledges.
It was nobody's fault-- that was the way of it; and thousands of men and women were turned out in the dead of winter, to live upon their savings if they had any, and otherwise to die.
Eighteen months later--that is to say, on the 15th of February, 1837--he sold the sulky and bought a saddle--said horseback-riding was what the doctor had always recommended HIM to take, and dog'd if he wanted to risk HIS neck going over those mountain roads on wheels in the dead of winter, not if he knew himself.
Under every species of discouragement, they undertook the voyage; they performed it in spite of numerous and almost insuperable obstacles; they arrived upon a wilderness bound with frost and hoary with snow, without the boundaries of their charter, outcasts from all human society, and coasted five weeks together, in the dead of winter, on this tempestuous shore, exposed at once to the fury of the elements, to the arrows of the native savage, and to the impending horrors of famine.
Rosemarie Russo ushered a class of five-year-olds on the 107th floor outside to the observation deck, where she had to keep them warm in the dead of winter for three hours, and then led them down 107 flights of stairs, which took another few hours.
Synopsis: In the dead of winter, handwriting expert Claudia Rose journeys to Maine to retrieve a manuscript about convicted female serial killer, Roxanne Becker.
With not even a days notice, FEMA has ended all aid to these families, essentially evicting them from their hotel rooms during the dead of winter.
It all started when Schaber, Jeff Mulholland and Dustin Wathen decided to jump into a body of water in the dead of winter.
After the shocking murder of a wealthy businessman on the lavish European train barreling its way west in the dead of winter, private detective Poirot must use every tool of his trade to uncover which of the train's eclectic passengers is the killer, before he or she strikes again.
This way, he says, "even in the dead of winter, if nothing is planted out there, we still have the frame of the beautiful stone.
Even in the dead of winter, Rihanna brings the island vibes to the rest of the world.
I use the hardy Sarcococca Humulus Confusa in lots of my garden designs for its neat evergreen compact shape and small white flowers which are heavily perfumed with more than a hint of jasmine, a real tickle-your-senses plant in the dead of winter.
One standoff in 2009 caused serious disruptions in shipments EU countries in the dead of winter.
In the dead of winter, with the season over, nothing's better than curling up with a blanket and my WF magazine.