Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
1. verb Literally, to become cooler in temperature. The brownies just came out of the oven and need to cool off before we can eat them. When it's hot out, the cat tries to cool off by sitting directly in front of the air conditioner.
2. verb To cause something to become cooler in temperature. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cool" and "off." A: "Why is there an ice cube in your soup?" B: "I'm trying to cool it off!" Make sure you cool off the broccoli in ice water after you boil it.
3. verb To calm down, typically from anger. Don't talk to your mother like that! Go to your room and cool off! I'm sorry for my outburst—I just need some time to cool off.
4. verb To cause someone to become calmer. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cool" and "off." If you insist on talking to your mother that way, I think a punishment is the only thing that will cool you off. That break seemed to cool him off—he's no longer yelling at the staff.
5. verb To become less passionate. I think they just broke up because things had cooled off between them.
6. verb To become less successful. After a great start and a 10-game winning streak, that team has really cooled off—it's doubtful they'll make the playoffs now. Unfortunately, the initial popularity has cooled off, and sales are way down.
7. verb, slang To kill someone. Ray cooled off the informant, just as the boss told him to.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cool offand cool down
1. Lit. to lose or reduce heat. I wish my soup would cool off. I'm hungry. It'll cool down this evening, after dusk.
2. Fig. to let one's anger die away. (As the "heat" of anger declines.) I'm sorry I got angry. I'll cool off in a minute. Cool off, Tom. There is no sense getting so excited.
3. Fig. to let one's passion or love die away. (As the "heat" of passion declines.) Ted: Is Bob still in love with Jane? Bill: No, he's cooled off a lot.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. see cool down.
2. Also, cool down or out . Calm down, become less ardent, angry, or agitated, as in We can't discuss it until you've cooled off. The verb cool alone has been used in this sense since approximately a.d. 1000; off and down were added in the late 1800s, and Davy Crockett's Almanac (1836) had: "Resting a while, just long enough to cool out a little."
3. Also, cool out. Kill someone, as in They threatened to cool off his brother. [Slang; first half of 1800s] Also see cool out, def. 2.
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.
1. To cool to a comfortable and agreeable degree of heat: The kids jumped in the lake to cool off.
2. To cool something or someone to a comfortable and agreeable degree of heat: The air conditioner cooled off the building. My soup was hot, but blowing on it cooled it off.
3. To become calm after a period of anger or conflict: Have things cooled off in that part of the world?
4. To calm someone or something that is angry or contentious: The coach took the angry players aside and cooled them off. The counselor cooled off the fighting campers.
5. To have a period of outstanding performance come to an end: They scored ten points in the first half of the game but cooled off in the second. The stock market cooled off after the latest unemployment report was released.
6. To lose passion: Their romance has cooled off.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
in. to calm down. I knew things would cool off eventually.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.