cold feet, to get/have

cold feet

Nervousness or anxiety felt before one attempts to do something. I wasn't nervous until the morning of my wedding, but everyone assured me that it was just cold feet. Good luck getting her out on stage—she always gets cold feet before a performance.
See also: cold, feet

get cold feet

To experience nervousness or anxiety before one attempts to do something, often to the extent that one tries to avoid it. I wasn't nervous until the morning of my wedding, but everyone assured me that I had just gotten cold feet. Good luck getting her out on stage—she always gets cold feet before a performance.
See also: cold, feet, get

have cold feet

To experience nervousness or anxiety before one attempts to do something, often to the extent that one tries to avoid it. I wasn't nervous until the morning of my wedding, but everyone assured me that I just had cold feet. Good luck getting her out on stage—she always has cold feet before a performance.
See also: cold, feet, have
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*cold feet

Fig. fear of doing something; cowardice at the moment of action. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) The bridegroom got cold feet on the day of the wedding. Sally said I should try skydiving, but I had cold feet.
See also: cold, feet
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

get cold feet

or

have cold feet

COMMON If you get cold feet or have cold feet about something you have planned to do, you become nervous about it and not sure that you want to do it. My boyfriend got cold feet about being in a committed relationship. Leaving Ireland wasn't easy and I had cold feet about it a couple of times.
See also: cold, feet, get
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cold feet

loss of nerve or confidence.
See also: cold, feet
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cold feet

n. a wave of timidity or fearfulness. Suddenly I had cold feet and couldn’t sing a note.
See also: cold, feet
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

cold feet, to get/have

To be timid; to back off from some undertaking. This expression appears to date from the nineteenth century, at least in its present meaning. In the early seventeenth century it was an Italian proverb that meant to have no money; it was so used by Ben Jonson in his play Volpone. The source of the more recent meaning is obscure. Some believe it comes from soldiers retreating in battle because their feet are frozen. Another source cites a German novel of 1862 in which a card player withdraws from a game because, he claims, his feet are cold.
See also: cold, get, have
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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