pour cold water on


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pour cold water on something

 
1. Lit. to douse something with cold water. Pour cold water on the vegetables to freshen them. I poured cold water on my head to cool myself off.
2. and dash cold water on something; throw cold water on something Fig. to discourage doing something; to reduce enthusiasm for something. (Alludes to cooling passion with cold water.) When my father said I couldn't have the car, he poured cold water on my plans. John threw cold water on the whole project by refusing to participate.
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pour/throw cold water on something

  (informal)
if you pour cold water on opinions or ideas, you criticize them and stop people believing them or being excited about them Margaret Thatcher poured cold water on the idea of a European central bank.
See also: cold, on, pour, water

pour cold water on

Also, throw cold water on. Discourage or deter, as in Cutting my year-end bonus poured cold water on my loyalty to the company, or Hearing about the outbreak of cholera threw cold water on our plans to visit Bolivia. This term, with its image of putting out a fire with water, at one time meant "defame" or "slander"; the modern meaning dates from about 1800.
See also: cold, on, pour, water