cold turkey

Definition

Slang

  • noun a sudden withdrawal from hard drugs, typically heroin, with the attendant hot and cold flushes, goose-pimples, discomfort, etc. The expression is originally American, from the 1940s or earlier, and in the late 1980s was increasingly used, often ironically, to describe a sudden withdrawal from any habitual activity. The phrase refers either to ‘goose flesh’ or to the general pallor and consistency of cold turkey meat.
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