in a cold sweat

in a cold sweat

Sweating because one is nervous or frightened. Any time I have to get blood drawn, I break out in a cold sweat the minute I get to the doctor's office. I used to be terrified of driving, but now I can get behind the wheel without breaking out in a cold sweat!
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

in a state of fear. He stood there in a cold sweat, waiting for something bad to happen. I was in a cold sweat while they counted the ballots.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

Feeling nervous or terrified, as in When I looked over the cliff, I broke out in a cold sweat. This expression refers to perspiring accompanied by a feeling of cold, which can be induced by acute fear as well as by fever. [Late 1700s]
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

or

in a sweat

If someone is in a cold sweat or in a sweat, they are feeling extremely anxious or afraid. She was in a cold sweat thinking of what the next day's visit would bring. She dialled his number every half-hour. No reply. By two in the morning she was in a sweat of totally illogical jealousy. Note: People often say that they wake up in a cold sweat, meaning that they suddenly wake up, feeling extremely anxious or afraid. I woke up in a cold sweat, thinking I'd made the wrong decision. Note: You can also say that something brings you out in a cold sweat or that you come out in a cold sweat thinking about something. I still come out in a cold sweat thinking about what might have happened. Thoughts of the bank loan brought him out in a cold sweat.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

in a state of sweating induced by fear, nervousness, or illness.
See also: cold, sweat

in a cold sweat

mod. in a state of fear. He stood there in a cold sweat, waiting for something to happen.
See also: cold, sweat
References in classic literature ?
So they started, and I lit out, all in a cold sweat, and scrambled forward.
In her nightmare-ridden sleep it became an accomplished fact, so that she would awake, trembling, in a cold sweat, crying out.
If only Laurent Robert would do that for Newcastle or Marcus Stewart for Sunderland, we North East footy fans wouldn't come out in a cold sweat every May
If the idea of auditioning for one more job or summer dance program makes you break out in a cold sweat, you should know that you are not alone.