cold sweat

cold sweat

Meaning | Synonyms

  • the condition where extreme fear or nervousness causes a person to feel a chill along with moist skin or sweat
  • a situation when a person is extremely afraid, nervous or anxious
  • sweating caused by nervousness, fear or sickness

Example Sentences

  1. I woke up from a nightmare, breathing heavy and in cold sweat.
  2. The hostages were in a cold sweat as they saw the hijacker pointing a gun on the air-hostess.
  3. Just thinking about the whole situation makes me break out in a cold sweat.
  4. She broke out in a cold sweat as she read the last warning notice from the bank about the loan repayment.
  5. Every member of the dysfunctional family was in cold sweat as the lawyer opened the father’s will.


The actual origin of the phrase ‘cold sweat’ is unknown. That is probably because it might be in use in different places as a common phrase. There is ambiguity about the date of first records of ‘cold sweat’ as an idiom too. It happens to be somewhere between late 1500 and 1700 AD. We can guess that the phrase came into use as people started noticing the phenomena of feeling chills and sweating while terrified or are extremely anxious.

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C 1 Thought

1 Thought

When you are scared, you sweat. Sweat is to make you feel less hot when you are exercising, so if you are not hot (like when you are nervous) and sweat, you feel cold.

- Chenyi Zhu November 18, 2020

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