What is the difference between `cool down’ and `cool off’?

The two phrasal verbs have more or less the same meaning. When something `cools down’ or `cools off’, it becomes cooler than what it was earlier. In other words, the temperature drops a little bit. During summer, when it cools down, things seem a little more pleasant.

*It was well past midnight before it started to cool off/cool down.

The two expressions can be used with people as well. When you say that someone has cooled down/cooled off, what you mean is that he has become less angry.

*There’s no point talking to you now. Go to your room and cool off.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – June 4, 2007  

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