cold turkey

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: cold-turkey



Various explanations; see Cold turkey § Etymology on Wikipedia.


  • (file)


cold turkey (uncountable)

  1. Sudden and complete withdrawal from a dependent substance, especially a drug.
  2. The physiological effects of such a withdrawal.



cold turkey (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Not gradually; all at once. Refers especially to quitting a habit by force of will rather than by a gradual reduction.
    It is difficult, but possible to quit smoking cold turkey.
    • 2012 April 4, Sam Anderson, “Just One More Game ...”, in The New York Times Magazine[1]:
      I knew that, if I had daily access to video games, I would spend literally every day playing them, forever. So I cut myself off, more or less cold turkey, and as a result I was more or less happy and productive.