Also found in: Dictionary.
a cold shower
1. An unexpectedly cold reaction from someone or something. Well, that bad review in the paper was certainly a cold shower amid the excitement of starring in my first play.
2. A distraction that allows one to suppress sexual urges or feelings. Often used in the phrase "take a cold shower." You're losing your mind over this girl. Go take a cold shower before you do something stupid. That movie was steamy! I think I need to go home and take a cold shower.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A surprisingly chilly reception, reaction, or response, as in The small voter turnout was a cold shower to the League of Women Voters. The allusion in this term is to the unexpected and not always pleasant effect of an ice-cold shower. [Second half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.