There are 3 main definitions of ice in English:

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ice 1

Line breaks: ice


1 [mass noun] Frozen water, a brittle transparent crystalline solid: she scraped the ice off the windscreen her hands were as cold as ice
More example sentences
  • Her foot broke through a patch of brittle ice to black frozen mud below.
  • In a matter of seconds, the toxarin was frozen into a solid block of ice.
  • A blue beam shot out of my armor and froze Floria in a solid block of ice.
1.1A sheet or layer of ice on the surface of water: the ice beneath him gave way
More example sentences
  • A thick layer of ice encrusted the surface of the dark water.
  • There was a thin layer of ice on the surface, and she realised that her knees were getting wet through the fabric of her dress.
  • The surface of the canal was a thick layer of ice except where the water plunged over stone and concrete falls for a drop of about twenty feet.
1.2Complete absence of friendliness or warmth in manner or expression: the ice in his voice was only to hide the pain
More example sentences
  • The ice in his voice didn't match the warmth in his eyes.
  • The second movement, the composer told me, should be played not expressively, but like ice.
  • His voice was like ice, sending a chill through my body.
2chiefly British An ice cream, ice lolly, or portion of water ice.
Example sentences
  • Oh, and there's treacle tart or very creamy home-made ices for pudding.
  • Try serving ices and sorbets in flower-studded ‘ice-bowls’.
  • Manfully, I choose from the small list of ices and sorbets a Trufito.
2.1North American A frozen mixture of fruit juice or of flavoured water and sugar.
Example sentences
  • A tray of miniature fruit ices appeared after dessert, along with mint truffles and slivers of candied ginger.
  • Low-fat means sorbet, ices, frozen yogurt, sherbet, or low-fat ice cream.
  • The menu also has milkshakes and fruit ices, but nobody ever seems to order them.
3 informal Diamonds.
Example sentences
  • The pricey drink comes with just one piece of ice: a diamond.


[with object] Back to top  
1Decorate (a cake or biscuit) with icing.
Example sentences
  • If they can't wait long enough to ice fairy cakes, have some extra that can be eaten immediately.
  • I slammed the kitchen door on the pair of them and set about icing my cake.
  • England, however, made the fatal error of believing this advance publicity - and in their haste, they tried to ice their cake before it had had time to cool.
cover with icing, glaze;
North American  frost, spread frosting over
2North American informal Clinch (something such as a victory or deal).
Example sentences
  • Her three-point play with 1: 31 left iced the Huskies' victory over Oklahoma in San Antonio.
  • Detroit has iced a contender in each of the past dozen years.
3North American informal Kill: another man had been iced by the police


break the ice
Do or say something to relieve tension or get conversation going in a strained situation or when strangers meet.
Example sentences
  • I thought if I had one at home I could use it as a conversation piece, to break the ice at parties.
  • Perhaps next time, we should break the ice and make proper conversation.
  • Although watching together broke the ice, the tension was still there.
ice the puck
Ice Hockey Shoot the puck from one’s own half of the rink to the other end without it hitting the goal or being touched by a teammate, for which a face-off is awarded in one’s own end.
Example sentences
  • In addition, a team that is playing short-handed won't be allowed to ice the puck in either game.
  • Also, the team icing the puck is prohibited from changing players until after the next face-off.
  • They call offsides, offsides pass, icing the puck and handle all faceoffs but those at center ice.
on ice
1(Of wine or food) kept chilled by being surrounded by ice: the champagne was already on ice
More example sentences
  • But it was the champions-elect that were sent home in defeat, the champagne, for now at least, chilling on ice.
  • The samples were heated for 6-7 min, then chilled on ice, and centrifuged.
  • Spoon some lobster noodles in a bowl that is chilled on ice.
1.1(Especially of a plan or proposal) held in reserve for future consideration: the recommendation was put on ice
More example sentences
  • Mr Wicks said putting the plans on ice would cut down the overall cost of the massive engineering scheme by an estimated £220m.
  • Initially, it was hoped the family would jet off to the States this summer but the gruelling chemotherapy sessions have put plans on ice.
  • Early in March, Genesis Energy put plans on ice for two coal-fired power stations in Huntly.
in abeyance, pending, ongoing, (up) in the air, (still) open, hanging fire, in the balance;
in suspension, in a state of suspension, suspended, put to one side, in a state of uncertainty, in limbo, in no man's land, betwixt and between;
awaiting attention, awaiting decision, awaiting action, unattended to, outstanding, unfinished, incomplete;
unresolved, undetermined, undecided, unsettled, unconcluded, uncertain
informal on the back burner, in cold storage
2(Of an entertainment) performed by skaters: Dick Whittington on Ice
More example sentences
  • It would be a unique event as Indians for the first time would get to watch white bear performing on ice.
  • In 1973, at the age of 9, Nina Ananiashvili performed on ice an adaptation of Michel Fokine's solo The Dying Swan.
  • Everyone has watched accomplished skaters spin on ice.
on thin ice
In a precarious or risky situation: you’re skating on thin ice
More example sentences
  • When you deal with this subject you skate on thin ice.
  • His reign has been very controversial and he is on thin ice already.
  • Like the rest of the field, Woods was swinging on thin ice, knowing that the slightest false step or slice of misfortune would draw blood.

Phrasal verbs

ice over/up
Become covered or blocked with ice: the wings iced over, forcing the pilot to dive
More example sentences
  • Because even as I speak the freezer is icing up nicely.
  • She could feel everything climbing to the top of her head, then stopping, icing over into one solid block.
  • If the defrost timer fails, the freezer can ice up and stop cooling properly.
freeze, freeze over, turn into ice, harden, solidify
archaic glaciate


Old English īs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ijs and German Eis.

  • The primary purpose of breaking the ice was to allow the passage of boats through frozen water, but by the end of the 16th century people were using the phrase to mean ‘to begin an undertaking’. The modern sense, ‘to do or say something to relieve tension or get conversation going’, began in the 17th century. Ice has represented a person's cold nature or unfriendly manner since at least the time of Shakespeare. In the early 19th century the poet Lord Byron wrote in his Don Juan: ‘And your cold people are beyond all price, When once you've broken their confounded ice.’ Ice cream has been around longer than you might think. The term first appeared in the mid 18th century, but the earlier equivalent iced cream is known from the late 17th. In 1848 the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray could use the shortened form ice in Vanity Fair: ‘He went out and ate ices at a pastry-cook's shop.’ Since the early 18th century both icing and ice have been names for sugar paste for cakes. The American equivalent is frosting [1756]. The idea behind both is that the white sugar looks like ice. The phrase the icing on the cake, ‘an attractive but inessential addition or enhancement’, has been recorded since the 1920s

Words that rhyme with ice

advice, bice, Brice, choc ice, concise, dice, entice, gneiss, imprecise, lice, mice, nice, precise, price, rice, sice, slice, speiss, spice, splice, suffice, syce, thrice, top-slice, trice, twice, underprice, vice, Zeiss
Definition of ice in:
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There are 3 main definitions of ice in English:

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ICE 2 Line breaks: ICE


1(In the UK) Institution of Civil Engineers.
2Internal-combustion engine.
Definition of ice in:
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There are 3 main definitions of ice in English:

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ICE 3 Line breaks: ICE


An entry stored in a person’s mobile phone that provides emergency contact information: [as modifier]: all mobile phone users should have an ICE contact in their phones
More example sentences
  • Everyone should put a contact number in their mobile phone and name it ICE (In Case of Emergency)
  • Put an ICE number in your mobile
  • A helper, or emergency worker, would simply be able to use your phone and dial your pre-entered ICE numbers telling friends of relations what had happened.


Early 21st century: acronym from in case of emergency.

Definition of ice in:
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