stop (one) cold

(redirected from stop them cold)

stop (one) cold

To make one stop or come to a complete halt immediately or very suddenly. Hearing the gunshot in the distance stopped us both cold. Boy, Samantha could stop you cold with her smile!
See also: cold, stop

stop cold

To immediately or suddenly stop or come to a complete halt. I don't know what happened. The engine was running fine a second ago but then just stopped cold! Both of us stopped cold when we heard the gunshot in the distance.
See also: cold, stop

stop someone cold

to halt someone immediately. When you told us the bad news, it stopped me cold.
See also: cold, stop

stop cold

Also, stop dead or in one's tracks or on a dime . Halt suddenly, come to a standstill, as in When a thread breaks, the machine just stops cold, or He was so surprised to see them in the audience that he stopped dead in the middle of his speech , or The deer saw the hunter and stopped in its tracks, or An excellent skateboarder, she could stop on a dime. The first term uses cold in the sense "suddenly and completely," a usage dating from the late 1800s. The first variant was first recorded in 1789 and probably was derived from the slightly older, and still current, come to a dead stop, with the same meaning. The second variant uses in one's tracks in the sense of "on the spot" or "where one is at the moment"; it was first recorded in 1824. The third variant alludes to the dime or ten-cent piece, the smallest-size coin.
See also: cold, stop
References in periodicals archive ?
Even when concerned residents receive notices, though, the cryptic technical terminology can stop them cold.
It is your mission to find out where the hell QUAKE and his army are coming from, and to stop them cold.