dead of winter

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dead of winter

The middle of winter, which is usually especially cold. I find myself dreaming of tropical islands every year in the dead of winter.
See also: dead, of, winter
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dead of

The period of greatest intensity of something, such as darkness or cold. For example, I love looking at seed catalogs in the dead of winter, when it's below zero outside. The earliest recorded use of dead of night, for "darkest time of night," was in Edward Hall's Chronicle of 1548: "In the dead of the night ... he broke up his camp and fled." Dead of winter, for the coldest part of winter, dates from the early 1600s.
See also: dead, of
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.

the dead of winter

the coldest part of winter.
The sense of dead here and in the previous idiom developed in the 16th century from dead time of —, meaning the period most characterized by lack of signs of life or activity.
See also: dead, of, winter
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dead of night/winter, the

The time of most intense stillness, darkness, or cold. This usage dates from the sixteenth century. Shakespeare had it in Twelfth Night (1.5), “Even in the dead of night,” and Washington Irving used the alternate phrase in Salmagundi (1807–08), “In the dead of winter, when nature is without charm.”
See also: dead, night, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
It was in the dead of winter and the groom's party went over to the wedding in sledges.
It was nobody's fault-- that was the way of it; and thousands of men and women were turned out in the dead of winter, to live upon their savings if they had any, and otherwise to die.
"Eighteen months later--that is to say, on the 15th of February, 1837--he sold the sulky and bought a saddle--said horseback-riding was what the doctor had always recommended HIM to take, and dog'd if he wanted to risk HIS neck going over those mountain roads on wheels in the dead of winter, not if he knew himself.
It was dead of winter. We bought a two-horse wagon and put eighteen hundred pounds of bacon, flour, beans, blasting-powder, picks and shovels in it; we bought two sorry-looking Mexican "plugs," with the hair turned the wrong way and more corners on their bodies than there are on the mosque of Omar; we hitched up and started.
Under every species of discouragement, they undertook the voyage; they performed it in spite of numerous and almost insuperable obstacles; they arrived upon a wilderness bound with frost and hoary with snow, without the boundaries of their charter, outcasts from all human society, and coasted five weeks together, in the dead of winter, on this tempestuous shore, exposed at once to the fury of the elements, to the arrows of the native savage, and to the impending horrors of famine.
More recent hits have included the innovative fantasy card game KeyForge and the co-operative zombie survival missions of Dead of Winter.
Investigation Discovery's "Dead of Winter" will spend an hour next week on the slaying of 22-year-old LaGrange resident Dean Fawcett.
Dead of Winter: A Mattie Winston Mystery is a murder mystery in the popular Mattie Winston series.
Some daffs come up so early they can bloom in the dead of winter. Look out for Narcissus Rijnveld's Early Sensation, which produces big golden trumpets from early January.
She is the village eccentric, with a passion for astrology and animal rights, making ends meet by tending to her neighbors' empty cottages in the dead of winter. Then, a string of deaths transforms the sleepy hamlet into a crime scene.
Dead of Winter is the latest in the exciting series of Alexa Williams mysteries by Sherry Knowlton.
Hawksley Workman's Almost a Full Moon (9781770498716, $16.99) is illustrated by Jensine Eckwall and tells of a boy and his grandmother who hold a gathering in their small cabin in the dead of winter. Travelers come to visit and the cozy feeling of friendship and hospitality simmer through a welcoming story parents and kids will find perfect leisure reading for a cold winter's day.
In the dead of winter, Anchorage could not be reached by train, boat, or airplane, so the government decided to use their famed Alaskan dogs to complete the journey.
Rosemarie Russo ushered a class of five-year-olds on the 107th floor outside to the observation deck, where she had to keep them warm in the dead of winter for three hours, and then led them down 107 flights of stairs, which took another few hours.