winter

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buy straw hats in winter

Especially of stocks, to buy when both demand and cost are low so that one may then sell when demand and price are high. A phrase attributed to Russell Sage, a 19th-century American investor and financier. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I made a fortune buying shares in the startup company before smartphone technology became ubiquitous—I bought straw hats in winter, and now they're worth a fortune!
See also: buy, hat, straw, winter

dead of night

The middle of the night. Why are you calling me in the dead of night? Can't this wait till morning?
See also: dead, night, of

dead of winter

The middle of winter, which is usually especially cold. I find myself dreaming of tropical islands every year in the dead of winter.
See also: dead, of, winter

in the dead of winter

In or during the middle of winter, especially at its coldest, darkest period. I find myself dreaming of tropical islands every year in the dead of winter.
See also: dead, of, winter

summer and winter

To monitor one's behavior or abilities for a sufficiently long period of time. Oh yes, I will summer and winter him during this probationary period, to determine if we should hire him full-time.
See also: and, summer, winter

winter is coming

An ominous warning about future danger or trouble. Now that there's talk of layoffs, employees are really worried that winter is coming.
See also: coming, winter

winter on (something)

1. To rely on something as a primary source of nutrition during the winter months. With so many trees having been cut down due to the beetle infestation, the various animals that winter on them will face the very real danger of dying out. There is nothing for the birds to winter on here, so they have begun migrating south to warmer climates.
2. To feed something to some kind of animal as a primary source of nutrition during the winter months. We'll have to winter the pigs on our scraps as there has been a shortage of proper pig feed the whole fall.
See also: on, winter

winter over

1. To survive, endure, or tolerate the winter climate. Come spring, all the various bugs and critters that have been wintering over in the soil start to emerge into the warm sunshine. Some warm-blooded animals, such as bears, winter over by putting on a huge amount of weight and hibernating the whole time.
2. To pass or endure the winter months in or at some other location. My parents summer in New Hampshire and winter over in Florida. My whole family is planning to winter over at the cabin this year.
See also: over, winter

winter rat

A beat-up car that one does not mind driving in harsh winter weather. Primarily heard in US. A: "You don't take your Corvette out in the snow, do you?" B: "Of course not, that's what my winter rat is for!"
See also: rat, winter
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

winter over (some place)

to spend the winter at some place. The bears all winter over in their dens. All the animals are getting ready either to migrate or to winter over. My parents winter over in Florida.
See also: over, winter
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dead of

The period of greatest intensity of something, such as darkness or cold. For example, I love looking at seed catalogs in the dead of winter, when it's below zero outside. The earliest recorded use of dead of night, for "darkest time of night," was in Edward Hall's Chronicle of 1548: "In the dead of the night ... he broke up his camp and fled." Dead of winter, for the coldest part of winter, dates from the early 1600s.
See also: dead, of
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.

the dead of winter

the coldest part of winter.
The sense of dead here and in the previous idiom developed in the 16th century from dead time of —, meaning the period most characterized by lack of signs of life or activity.
See also: dead, of, winter
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

winter on

v.
1. To feed on something during winter: The deer winter on tree bark.
2. To feed some animal something during the winter: We wintered the cows on cornstalks.
See also: on, winter

winter over

v.
To spend, endure, or survive a winter: The scientist wintered over at the South Pole. My plant has wintered over successfully for three years.
See also: over, winter
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dead of night/winter, the

The time of most intense stillness, darkness, or cold. This usage dates from the sixteenth century. Shakespeare had it in Twelfth Night (1.5), “Even in the dead of night,” and Washington Irving used the alternate phrase in Salmagundi (1807–08), “In the dead of winter, when nature is without charm.”
See also: dead, night, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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