Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
cool (one's) heels
To wait, sometimes so that one becomes calmer or more composed. You need to cool your heels for a minute and stop yelling at the staff—they didn't do anything wrong. We were excited, but we had to cool our heels when the release date for the new game got pushed back.
cool one's heels
Fig. to wait (for someone); to wait for something to happen. I spent an hour cooling my heels in the waiting room while the doctor saw other patients. All right, if you can't behave properly, just sit down here and cool your heels until I call you.
cool (one's) heelsInformal
To wait or be kept waiting.
cool one's heels, to
To be kept waiting. Presumably this saying comes from the fact that one’s feet become warm in the act of walking and cool off when one sits or stands still in the act of waiting. It dates from the early seventeenth century and was common enough by the 1630s to appear in several sources (William Rowley, Thomas Dekker). A century later, Henry Fielding wrote, “In this parlour Amelia cooled her heels, as the phrase is, near a quarter of an hour” (Amelia, 1752).
See also: cool