in a cold sweat

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in a cold sweat

Sweating because one is nervous or frightened. Any time I have to get blood drawn, I break out in a cold sweat the minute I get to the doctor's office. I used to be terrified of driving, but now I can get behind the wheel without breaking out in a cold sweat!
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

in a state of fear. He stood there in a cold sweat, waiting for something bad to happen. I was in a cold sweat while they counted the ballots.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

Feeling nervous or terrified, as in When I looked over the cliff, I broke out in a cold sweat. This expression refers to perspiring accompanied by a feeling of cold, which can be induced by acute fear as well as by fever. [Late 1700s]
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

or

in a sweat

If someone is in a cold sweat or in a sweat, they are feeling extremely anxious or afraid. She was in a cold sweat thinking of what the next day's visit would bring. She dialled his number every half-hour. No reply. By two in the morning she was in a sweat of totally illogical jealousy. Note: People often say that they wake up in a cold sweat, meaning that they suddenly wake up, feeling extremely anxious or afraid. I woke up in a cold sweat, thinking I'd made the wrong decision. Note: You can also say that something brings you out in a cold sweat or that you come out in a cold sweat thinking about something. I still come out in a cold sweat thinking about what might have happened. Thoughts of the bank loan brought him out in a cold sweat.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

in a state of sweating induced by fear, nervousness, or illness.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

mod. in a state of fear. He stood there in a cold sweat, waiting for something to happen.
See also: cold, sweat
References in periodicals archive ?
Cold sweats may be caused by anxiety, stress, pain, and infection.
And when they were having a heart attack, the symptoms most reported were shortness of breath (58%), weakness (55%), unusual fatigue (43%), cold sweat (39%) and dizziness (39%).
WHAT NIGHTMARES HAVE Republicans thrashing in their beds, only to awaken in a cold sweat? What fearsome specters haunt their sleep and stalk their waking hours?
"I would guess what gets Alan Greenspan up at night with a cold sweat is deflation.
Her condition had improved 2 weeks after the onset of these symptoms, but 1 month later she awoke in the middle of the night with palpitations and a cold sweat; these symptoms were soon followed by nausea and a sensation that "the room was moving." The moving sensation lasted approximately 2 hours.
Still, Western companies' most recent experiences in the region would cause most executives to break into a cold sweat at the thought of tackling the Asian "tiger."
Anxious thoughts also raise blood pressure, and cause hand tremors, cold sweat, a knotted stomach, and pervasive weakening (as when we say "sick with dread").
Environmental toxins are the stuff nightmares are made of--but there's no need to wake up in a cold sweat over packing your child's lunch.
Every now and then, great institutions wake up in a cold sweat and--a bit like Kafka's Gregor Samsa--discover they have metamorphosed into something resembling a dinosaur.
I was in a cold sweat after having had one of the worst nightmares of my life.
As he slips behind the controls of his hovercraft, he feels a gripping pain in his chest, followed by shortness of breath and a cold sweat. Soon he's slumping in his seat.
James Brown classics featured in the collection include "Please Please Please" (1956), "Try Me" (1958), "It's A Man's World" (1964), "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (1965), "Cold Sweat" (1967), and "Say It Loud-I'm Black And I'm Proud" (1968).
He wakes in a cold sweat, a ball of string in his hands.
It brings me out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.
Dave Hobday, of Payment processing firm Worldpay, said: "Many shoppers will be breaking into a cold sweat at the thought of heading to the high street on the busiest shopping day of the year."