nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Extremely limited empathy, sympathy, or encouragement: “I told him that the years would pass with remarkable celerity, but that appeared to be cold comfort” (Nelson Bryant).
cold comfort - Phrases/Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Slight or no consolation. For example, He can't lend us his canoe but will tell us where to rent one—that's cold comfort. The adjective cold was being applied to comfort in this sense by the early 1300s, and Shakespeare used the idiom numerous times.