have (someone) cold

have (someone) cold

To have someone under the control of or dictated by the actions of someone else, without the ability to defend or liberate oneself. Please don't report me to the headmaster. You have me cold! Once the gangsters were able to blackmail Susan, they had her cold.
See also: cold, have

have someone cold

have someone at your mercy. US informal
1988 Rodney Hall Kisses of the Enemy He waited in his office for news of violence, knowing that then he would have the troublemakers cold.
See also: cold, have, someone
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