catch a cold


catch a cold


  • experience challenges and difficulties.
  • experience a loss of money.
  • become sick with a cold.

Examples in a Sentence

  1. Brian tried the offshore education business, but he caught a cold after the first month and has still shown no signs of growth.
  2. I caught a cold when I spilled my drink on my phone.
  3. I think I may have caught a cold from my last encounter with thieves.
  4. I heard that she caught a cold from the news of a sick relative.


For centuries, the expression “catch a cold” has been used to describe more than just physical illness. This phrase dates all the way back to The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer in the 14th century and references being exposed to something that might cause harm – be it an ailment or ill-fortune. Essentially, this idiom implies potential danger if one is not careful when navigating their surroundings. It’s thought that the phrase may have originated in places and periods when sickness was widespread. At such times, people felt obligated to safeguard themselves from contact with any potential sources of infection. Nowadays, we mostly use this expression metaphorically; it often expresses a feeling of being overwhelmed by things beyond our control or fear of bad luck due to certain circumstances.

Contrary to popular belief, saying “catch a cold” does not mean you can contract the virus simply by being outside. Rather, it is metaphorical for how someone might take on another person’s negative emotions and feelings without even realizing it. It’s commonly used when someone has been around people who have spread gossip or bad news, causing their mood to drop suddenly and drastically. This phrase is also often used to describe someone who appears discouraged or glum, as if the environment around them has made them ill with sorrow. It serves as a reminder that our emotions are just as contagious, if not more so, than any bacteria or virus could ever be.

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