Share this entry

Share this page

icicle

Line breaks: icicle
Pronunciation: /ˈʌɪsɪk(ə)l
 
/

Definition of icicle in English:

noun

A hanging, tapering piece of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water.
Example sentences
  • Then, on location for 1993's The Age of Innocence in Troy, New York, Scorsese ran across an 1896 photo of a burned-out building, hauntingly dripping with icicles.
  • Anastas and his friends endure the cold water, watching icicles form on the brims of their neoprene hoods, to get some of the best surfing of the year.
  • I drank three coffees and forced myself out for a brisk walk to photograph the dripping icicles before they melt.

Origin

Middle English: from ice + dialect ickle 'icicle' (from Old English gicel).

More
  • Before a hanging, tapering piece of ice was an icicle it was an ickle. In the early Middle Ages people put ice and ickle together to form a compound; writers spelled the term as two words into the 17th century, but then speakers lost sight of its origins and icicle emerged as the standard term.

Words that rhyme with icicle

bicycle, tricycle

Definition of icicle in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something