to go cold turkey

Idiom Definition

"to go cold turkey"

to quit doing something, often some form of drug, immediately and finally;

to finish with something or someone without a gradual reduction

Idiom Definition - to go cold turkey


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to go cold turkey

James has been addicted to cigarettes for many years.  He has tried to quit smoking many times in the past.  When he tried to quit smoking, James would slowly reduce the number of cigarettes he smoked in a day.  He hoped that he could gradually reduce his smoking to nothing and be finished with smoking.  Every time he tried this method it did not work.  Someone suggested to James that he should just quit completely, all at once, without slowly cutting down his cigarette smoking.

"James needs to quit cold turkey"

If James goes cold turkey he will quit smoking instantly without ever smoking again.  This method of quitting can often produce negative side-effects that are difficult to endure.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to go cold turkey

Barbara has a boyfriend named Steve.  Barbara is having a lot of trouble with Steve.  They are fighting and not getting along very well.  Barbara has ended the relationship many times but each time she goes back to Steve because she is lonely.  Sometimes Steve changes his behavior temporarily and then Barbara takes him back.  This on again - off again relationship has been going on for quite some time.  Barbara is tired of the dead-end relationship and she knows that there is no future for her and Steve.

"Barbara needs to finish the relationship cold turkey."

Barbara should quit Steve cold turkey and never see him again.

to go cold turkey - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   316   click for frequency by country

to go cold turkey - Gerund Form:

Going cold turkey is not the easiest method of quitting something harmful.

to go cold turkey - Examples:

1)  I go cold turkey when I need to quit smoking.

2)  You quit cold turkey when you need to stop eating fatty foods.

3)  He goes cold turkey when he needs to immediately quit using amphetamines.

4)  She quits cold turkey when she wants to stop compulsively shopping.

5)  We go cold turkey when we feel addicted to someone.

6)  You (all) quit cold turkey when you (all) need a rest from extreme sports.

7)  They go cold turkey when the activity effects their health.

8)  I read online that it is extremely dangerous to go cold turkey.

9)  It's just too much a part of our lives to go cold turkey and get rid of!

10)  I feel the need to drop coffee. When I quit, I go cold turkey, and I must reserve a couple days to suffer the withdrawals that come.

11)  I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to just go cold turkey, suffer through a week long headache and be done with it.

12)  Shopping can't buy you self-esteem or happiness. GO COLD TURKEY. Give up shopping and write down when you feel like buying something.

13)  I'm not suggesting that you go cold turkey, but set a daily limit.

14)  I don't plan to go cold turkey, nor do I plan to cut out soda all together.

15)  According to reports, Amy Winehouse's family now believe that going cold turkey on alcohol may have been too much of a shock to her body.

16)  Its Quitline website says: " Going cold turkey means stopping suddenly and completely.

17)  The long term quit rates are quite different with those going cold turkey not doing as well. A smoker needs to learn to be a non smoker.

18)  Many times over the years I went cold turkey to quit and each time after a few months I was back smoking again.

19)  After 40 years of smoking I went cold turkey 18 weeks ago and I do believe that I am done with smoking.

20)  I went cold turkey when my wife fell pregnant with our second child.