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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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 winterthe 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.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer