in cold blood

in cold blood


  • in a cruel way and without pity or other emotion
  • in a deliberately unfeeling manner
  • heartless
  • without remorse
  • unemotionally calculated
  • cold-hearted

Example Sentences

  1. One young lady was shot dead in cold blood inside the premises of the shopping complex.
  2. The Mafia Don killed the traitor in cold blood.
  3. Truman Capote’s classic novel “In Cold Blood” is about a family’s murder in Kansas.
  4. The renegade shot the security guard in cold blood.
  5. A murder executed in cold blood exhibits sociopathic tendencies.
  6. As the escaped convict ran, the guard shot him in cold blood.
  7. The prosecutor thought the defendant acted in cold blood.


This phrase’s origins begin in 1600s medicine. Doctors thought that a person’s emotions and internal fluids were closely connected. Additionally, they posited blood temperature rose when someone was angry or upset.

Oxford Dictionary lists the first recorded usage as 1608 by an English soldier. Francis Vere used the phrase in his book Commentaries of the Divers of Pieces of Service, “a resolution framed in cold blood.”

Another idea is that the phrase derives from the French word “sang-froid,” which means “calmly” or “with composure,” giving it a positive connotation versus its English counterpart.

A well-known use of the phrase features prominently in this phrase’s history. In 1965, Truman Capote wrote the book In Cold Blood. These techniques are essential to journalism and were initially used by Mark Twain.

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The Idioms Dictionary explains common English idioms that are popular worldwide, especially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

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