Old English cald (Anglian), ceald (West Saxon) "cold, cool" (adj.), "coldness," from Proto-Germanic *kaldaz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon kald, Old High German and German kalt, Old Norse kaldr, Gothic kalds "cold"), possibly a past participle adjective of *kal-/*kol-, from PIE root *gel-/*gol- "cold" (cf. Latin gelare "to freeze," gelu "frost," glacies "ice").
Meaning "not strong" (in reference to scent) is 1590s, from hunting. Cold front in weather is from 1921. Cold-call in the sales pitch sense first recorded 1972. Japanese has two words for "cold:" samui for coldness in the atmosphere or environment; tsumetai for things which are cold to touch, and also in the figurative sense, with reference to personalities, behaviors, etc.