Definition of icicle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈīˌsik(ə)l/


1A 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.
1.1A thin, shiny strip of plastic or foil hung on a Christmas tree for decoration.
Example sentences
  • Ethereal and intricate hangings made from beaded ceramics, lace, and even origami feature alongside more familiar designs including shiny baubles and icicles.
  • To tell you the truth, I think there were more icicles in the girls' hair than on the Christmas tree!


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

  • 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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: i·ci·cle

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