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Meaning of cold turkey

cold' tur'key

Pronunciation: [key]
— Informal. Informal.
  1. abrupt and complete withdrawal from the use of an addictive substance, as a narcotic drug, alcohol, or tobacco.
    1. to stop using an addictive substance abruptly and completely.
    2. to undergo sudden and complete withdrawal from a habitual activity or behavior pattern.
    3. to begin or do something without planning, preparation, or practice.

cold-tur•key

Pronunciation: (kōld'tûr'kē), [key]
— Slang. Slang.
—v.t.
  1. to withdraw from (an addictive substance or a habit) abruptly and completely.
—v.i.
  1. to withdraw from an addictive substance or a habit abruptly and completely.
—adj.
  1. abrupt and complete: cold-turkey withdrawal from drugs.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.