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Unconscious or in a deep, insensible sleep. Likened to a boxer who has been knocked out. I didn't even hear you come in last night. I was so tired that I was out cold as soon as my head hit the pillow. On his 21st birthday, Mike's friends gave him so much to drink that he was out cold by 10 PM. The rowdy customer was out cold when the bouncer punched him in the head.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
out coldand out like a light
1. Fig. unconscious. I fell and hit my head. I was out cold for about a minute. Tom fainted! He's out like a light!
2. Fig. intoxicated. Four beers and he was out cold. He sat in his chair at the table, out cold.
3. Fig. sound asleep. After a few minutes of tossing and turning, she was out like a light.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, out for the count; out like a light. Unconscious; also, asleep. For example, He crashed into the wall and was out cold, or Willie punched him too hard, and he was out for the count or Don't call Jane; she's out like a light by ten every night. The adjective cold refers to the lack of heat in a dead body and has been used to mean "unconscious" since the second half of the 1800s. The first variant comes from boxing, where a fighter who is knocked down must get up before the referee counts to ten or be declared defeated; it dates from about 1930. The last variant alludes to turning out a light and dates from the first half of the 1900s.
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.
If someone is out cold, they are unconscious. He had to keep checking the man was still out cold.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
out coldcompletely unconscious.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. mod. unconscious. Paul was out cold when we found him.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. He sat in his chair at the table, out cold.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.