- stop a habit (esp. bad habit) suddenly
- stop a habit without tapering off
- withdraw abruptly and completely
- He had been trying to quit smoking since a year but couldn’t, so he decided to go cold turkey.
- When drug addicts go cold turkey they experience a period of extreme suffering.
- He went cold turkey on his drinking habit two years ago and hasn’t had a drink since.
- If you are unable to control your habit, consider going cold turkey.
- To cure his addiction to video games, he decided to go cold turkey and gave his entire collection away.
- The experts quit cold turkey, leaving the part timers to finish the job.
- He had been addicted to dating apps lately, so he decided to go cold turkey and deleted all of them.
- If all other attempts at quitting fails, you should go cold turkey.
This phrase originated in the early 1900s. Initial usage points to a meaning of something happening abruptly. Since 1921, it referred to a treatment of drug addiction, where the addict was made to quit abruptly. Now, it means breaking any habit abruptly, but is mostly used for bad habits.