cold shoulder

Other forms: cold shoulders

To give the cold shoulder is to ignore or snub someone you know. It's the opposite of a warm welcome.

Warmth is associated with love, while coldness is associated with indifference. Also, turning your shoulder to someone is the opposite body language of a hug. That might help you remember why the cold shoulder refers to chilly treatment of someone you know. If you say hi to someone and they don't say hi back, you got the cold shoulder. When someone tries to make eye contact and you pretend not to see them, you're giving the cold shoulder.

Definitions of cold shoulder
  1. noun
    a refusal to recognize someone you know
    synonyms: cut, snub
    see moresee less
    type of:
    rebuff, slight
    a deliberate discourteous act (usually as an expression of anger or disapproval)
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