stop cold

stop (one) cold

To make one stop or come to a complete halt immediately or very suddenly. Hearing the gunshot in the distance stopped us both cold. Boy, Samantha could stop you cold with her smile!
See also: cold, stop

stop (something) cold

To bring something to a complete and sudden end. Our annual music festival was just getting started when a freak storm stopped it cold! The governor tried to stop the investigation cold because of the damage it could cause to his reputation.
See also: cold, stop

stop cold

To immediately or suddenly stop or come to a complete halt. I don't know what happened. The engine was running fine a second ago but then just stopped cold! Both of us stopped cold when we heard the gunshot in the distance.
See also: cold, stop
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

stop someone cold

to halt someone immediately. When you told us the bad news, it stopped me cold.
See also: cold, stop
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

stop cold

Also, stop dead or in one's tracks or on a dime . Halt suddenly, come to a standstill, as in When a thread breaks, the machine just stops cold, or He was so surprised to see them in the audience that he stopped dead in the middle of his speech , or The deer saw the hunter and stopped in its tracks, or An excellent skateboarder, she could stop on a dime. The first term uses cold in the sense "suddenly and completely," a usage dating from the late 1800s. The first variant was first recorded in 1789 and probably was derived from the slightly older, and still current, come to a dead stop, with the same meaning. The second variant uses in one's tracks in the sense of "on the spot" or "where one is at the moment"; it was first recorded in 1824. The third variant alludes to the dime or ten-cent piece, the smallest-size coin.
See also: cold, stop
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.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
SCAMMERS are calling Huddersfield homes claiming to offer telephone preference services that stop cold callers.
"You can't stop cold weather, but you can make sure your home stays warm, and wear gloves and thick socks if you're heading out," says Dr Christopherson.
She recalled: "I couldn't stop cold turkey, I found it impossible.
I felt my heart stop cold at the same time every morning as the disappointment of a traffic jam triggered anxious thoughts.
In addition, you'll also figure out how this secret approach successfully transforms your body to assist it fight and stop cold.
"These could be a pretty easy and cheap fix for them that will immediately help to stop cold air from escaping and warm air from getting into the cooler," says Melton.
The mat insulation will stop cold water cooling the ceramic.
Exterior doors should also be fitted with keyhole and letterbox covers to stop cold air coming in.
If you think you consume too much caffeine and that the best route is stop cold turkey, think again.
Keeping the doors of the rooms closed to stop cold air from leaking out and regularly cleaning the air conditioning ducts and filters are obvious ways to prevent power wastage.
Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis said the obstacle may be preconceived notions of playwrights and directors, who still "stop cold at the idea of members of a biological family group being of different races." Broadway producer Nelle Nugent agreed that that's where the change needs to come, because, as she said, "The author and the director have final casting approval.
The air barriers save energy, enhance comfort, stop cold drafts, keep out heat and humidity, deter dust and insects, and can maintain interior temperature to within 2 degrees of set point even against below-zero outdoor temperatures.