Cooler heads prevail is an idiom. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom cooler heads prevail, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.
Cooler heads prevail means that the dominant influence in a given situation is exerted by calm, thoughtful people. Some believe the phrase was invented as an antithesis to the term, hothead, which came into use in the 1600s. The sentiment of the phrase cooler heads prevail came into use in the early 1800s; however, the exact phrase cooler heads prevail came into use in the United States in the latter-1800s. The term is often used as an admonition to calm a situation: let cooler heads prevail.
If cooler heads prevail and Simmons backs off his trade request, the Sixers can see whether he’s improved those facets of his game before deciding upon their course of action. (Forbes)
Let’s hope that cooler heads prevail and that these fringe ideas don’t come to embarrassingly define public policy in Ohio to the rest of the world. (Ohio Capital Journal)
“If for one provision, we’re willing to scuttle an entire bill that’s been worked on all session — I find myself in that position a lot, and I would hope that we would have cooler heads prevail and that we could pass what I would consider a really good piece of legislation,” Minority Floor Leader John Rizzo said. (Missouri Times)