pour cold water on something

pour cold water on (something)

To discourage or deter (someone) from doing something; to make something seem less appealing or reduce (someone's) enthusiasm for something. We were planning to move to Portugal for the summer, but news that my wife was pregnant threw cold water on that idea. Slashing your employees' benefits is a great way to throw cold water on their plans to stick with your company.
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pour cold water on something

or

throw cold water on something

COMMON If someone pours cold water on someone else's idea or plan or throws cold water on it, they criticize it and express no enthusiasm for it. Rachel found it frustrating when he poured cold water on one of her ideas. Mr Powell said that neither France nor Germany had thrown cold water on his proposal.
See also: cold, on, pour, something, water

pour/throw cold ˈwater on something

(informal) discourage or try to prevent a plan, etc. from being carried out; be unenthusiastic about something: I’ve had lots of ideas about how to improve sales but my manager pours cold water on all my suggestions.
See also: cold, on, pour, something, throw, water

pour cold water on something

tv. to put an end to something; to dampen something. I wanted to go to the party, but my brother poured cold water on that by taking the car.
See also: cold, on, pour, something, water