You don’t always literally need to throw cold water upon anything (or anyone) to ruin it. The idiom means to discourage or dampen someone’s enthusiasm or interest in something. It implies that someone is being negative, critical, or pessimistic about someone else’s plans, ideas, or hopes. For example, if someone says that they want to start a new business, and another person says that it is too risky and unlikely to succeed, they are throwing cold water into their dream.
Usage With Examples
The idiom “to throw cold water upon anything” has been in use since the early 19th century, originating from the idea of putting a fire out by throwing water on it and waking someone up by throwing cold water on their face. Here’s how you should use this idiom in a sentence:
- She was excited to go on a vacation with her friends, but her parents threw cold water upon her plans by saying that she had to stay home and study for her exams.
- He had a brilliant idea for a new product, but his boss threw cold water upon it by pointing out all the flaws and risks involved.
- She wanted to pursue her passion for music, but her teacher threw cold water upon her aspirations by telling her that she had no talent or potential.
Also Read: 500+ Most Commonly Used Idioms in English
Synonyms and Similar Phrases
There are other words and phrases in English that have the same meaning as the idiom “to throw cold water upon anything”. Some of them are as follows:
- To rain on someone’s parade
- To burst someone’s bubble
- To dash someone’s hopes
- To dissuade someone
- To put a damper on something
- To pour scorn on something
- To be a wet blanket
To Throw Cold Water Upon Anything Quiz
Choose the best option to complete the sentence using the idiom “to throw cold water upon anything”:
She was very enthusiastic about joining the drama club, but her brother ___________ by saying that she had no acting skills.
A) threw cold water upon her
B) threw hot water upon her
C) threw cold water upon it
D) threw hot water upon it
The correct answer is A)
We hope that this blog helped you understand the meaning of the idiom “to throw cold water upon anything”, including its origin, usage in a sentence, and its various synonyms. Learn more idioms like this daily by subscribing to Leverage Edu. Happy Learning!