Main definitions of ice in English

: ice1ICE2ICE3



  • 1Frozen water, a brittle, transparent crystalline solid.

    ‘the pipes were blocked with ice’
    • ‘Then the world became cold and lifeless, and froze into solid ice.’
    • ‘Chenu reached over and touched it, and sure enough, it was a solid block of ice.’
    • ‘Now it's well established that at the poles they've got lots of solid ice, solid water in other words, but then close by [there are] these sand dunes.’
    • ‘It was mid-February, a frigid cold day where ice had frozen on the bus windows, and by the end of the ride you couldn't feel your toes.’
    • ‘If ice did not float, all bodies of water would freeze from the bottom up, becoming solid masses of ice and destroying all life in them.’
    • ‘By morning the water had frozen solid, encasing the scope in a block of ice.’
    • ‘The air was still, the rocks frosted and frozen and ice crystals decorated every boulder.’
    • ‘For example, a solid substance like ice is composed of water molecules that are bound relatively close together and neatly ordered.’
    • ‘At night, his hands and feet are cold as blocks of ice.’
    • ‘It is a solid river of ice broken into huge blocks, thrust downwards by a glacier or very large Yeti.’
    • ‘It froze into solid, treacherous ice when the temperature dropped again at night.’
    • ‘The crystallization process is somewhat similar to how water freezes and ice crystals form.’
    • ‘In a matter of seconds, the toxarin was frozen into a solid block of ice.’
    • ‘When it comes to gauging the temperature, frozen blocks of ice clogging up your rod rings are as crystal clear an indicator as anyone could wish for.’
    • ‘Her foot broke through a patch of brittle ice to black frozen mud below.’
    • ‘It was crystallized and covered in a cover of solid ice.’
    • ‘A blue beam shot out of my armor and froze Floria in a solid block of ice.’
    • ‘Eventually they learnt to leave a full bucket of water outdoors until it had frozen solid and then hollow out the block of ice.’
    • ‘To keep food cool in summer we had an ice chest for which blocks of ice were transported from town.’
    • ‘That way the mixture will freeze quicker, preventing ice from crystallizing and giving you a smoother product.’
    frozen water
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Complete absence of friendliness or affection in manner or expression.
      ‘the ice in his voice was only to hide the pain’
      • ‘He was pulled from a world of ice and hate into a world of warmth and confusion.’
      • ‘His voice had ice in it, but he didn't even look back, he just kept on going.’
      • ‘His voice was like ice, and his eyes glared at them with their unsettling insensity.’
      • ‘His mood is vastly improved from before, but I can still detect an edge of ice underneath his voice.’
      • ‘The visitor's lips were twisted blue with cold, the voice was of splintered ice.’
      • ‘He didn't want to know what made this ice hard woman shriek in such a manner.’
      • ‘The ice in his voice was unmistakable as he opened the door.’
      • ‘The ice in her voice curved Roman's into a charming grin.’
      • ‘When next the gentleman spoke, it was with a voice of ice.’
      • ‘‘There you have it,’ he said, his voice like ice as he handed the mirror back to Elder Time.’
      • ‘Aluryne's voice suddenly held ice, it shocked Fleiya and Lyken.’
      • ‘‘Get in the car,’ he said in a steel voice lined with ice, but at the same time as smooth as chocolate.’
      • ‘Her voice was like ice, and she walked on ahead, scarf lying on the ground, forgotten.’
      • ‘Cooper said his little speech with ice in his voice, but otherwise emotionless and calm.’
      • ‘Her eyes were wide open and crystal clear, but instead of the warmth of lucidity, they burned with the ice of expressionlessness.’
      • ‘The ice in his voice didn't match the warmth in his eyes.’
      • ‘‘That was a long time ago,’ I said, my voice coming out like ice, my face as hard as stone.’
      • ‘Her voice was like ice, and he could feel nothing but cold darkness within her.’
      • ‘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.’
      coldness, coolness, frost, frostiness, iciness, chilliness, glaciality, frigidity, lack of warmth
      View synonyms
  • 2North American A frozen mixture of fruit juice or flavored water and sugar.

    • ‘Don't pass up the chance to savour this crushed ice and fruit juice mix.’
    • ‘If you're still hungry after the oysters, prawns and shellfish, for dessert there are a dozen varieties of cake, plus ice cream and shaved ice.’
    • ‘If you like the fragrance of mango and want your ice with more fruit than syrup, then this dish is a must on your first visit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A tray of miniature fruit ices appeared after dessert, along with mint truffles and slivers of candied ginger.’
    ice cream
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  • 3informal Diamonds.

    • ‘The pricey drink comes with just one piece of ice: a diamond.’
  • 4US informal An illegal profit made from reselling tickets.

    1. 4.1Money paid in graft or bribery.
      • ‘Yes, I know you really want a British driver to win so you can get the bunting out but this is formula one, where only winning and money cut any ice.’
  • 5informal Methamphetamine.


  • 1Decorate (a cake) with icing.

    • ‘When cool, ice with chocolate icing and cut into squares.’
    • ‘And with a couple of minutes left, Moffett iced the Damolly cake.’
    • ‘There will also be a demonstration on cake icing and decorating.’
    • ‘Laying the road surfaces has been compared to icing a cake.’
    • ‘There were examples of mothers who iced cakes, kept chickens, and (as with the women graduates) took in laundry and lodgers to help with finance.’
    • ‘Using a fine nozzle, the design is extruded onto the surface in a manner a bit like icing a cake.’
    • ‘I was fully prepared to ice cupcakes for the rest of my life, and never speak about this again.’
    • ‘I slammed the kitchen door on the pair of them and set about icing my cake.’
    • ‘For £1m they suggested buying your own Mediterranean island and icing your wedding cake with solid gold.’
    • ‘Bake shop students, SAs Daniel Herzog and Jesus Collazo get a close look at the proper way to ice a cake.’
    • ‘Be sure and save a fair amount of frosting in the bowls for icing the cookies themselves.’
    • ‘Brown polished it off, helping English to a battling 75 before icing the cake with a fierce drive through mid-wicket towards the nearest hedge.’
    • ‘This cake can also be iced: melt together 150g dark chocolate with 150 ml double cream and 25g butter.’
    • ‘The hot-cross buns are still iced by hand in the bakery, and the produce comes primarily from local growers in season.’
    • ‘David even has a job icing cakes in a supermarket to supplement the family's income.’
    • ‘She poured three glasses of milk, and then went to help her mother ice the cake.’
    • ‘If they can't wait long enough to ice fairy cakes, have some extra that can be eaten immediately.’
    • ‘Back in November, I made my own Christmas cake, and iced it mid-December.’
    • ‘Turn the layers out onto cake racks to cool thoroughly before icing the 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
    View synonyms
  • 2North American informal Clinch (something such as a victory or deal)

    • ‘Detroit has iced a contender in each of the past dozen years.’
    • ‘Her three-point play with 1: 31 left iced the Huskies' victory over Oklahoma in San Antonio.’
  • 3North American informal Kill.

    ‘a man had been iced by the police’
    murder, cause the death of, end the life of, take the life of, do away with, make away with, assassinate, do to death, eliminate, terminate, dispatch, finish off, put to death, execute
    View synonyms
  • 4Ice Hockey
    Shoot (the puck) so as to commit icing.

    • ‘Basically the game does away with all hockey-playing rules like icing, interference, roughing, or two-line passes.’
    • ‘The puck started to go down the ice and it looked like it would be icing.’
    • ‘There will be other new rules in place for the entire season: no-touch icing, tag-up offside, a bigger neutral zone and wider blue and red lines.’
    • ‘No-touch icing also will be considered by the league's G.M.s at a meeting in March.’
    • ‘However, the linesmen whistled the Rangers for icing with 1.6 seconds remaining.’
    • ‘Of course I like the skating, the finesse, the hat tricks and assists and icing.’
    • ‘Mr O'Connor, to the penalty box with you, as you have stepped way over the blue line and iced this puck.’


  • break the ice

    • Do or say something to relieve tension or get conversation going at the start of a party or when people meet for the first time.

      • ‘In an attempt to break the ice, I rack my brain to continue the conversation.’
      • ‘I thought if I had one at home I could use it as a conversation piece, to break the ice at parties.’
      • ‘However, a smile and a ‘Bonjour’ was usually sufficient to break the ice in any conversation.’
      • ‘If you understand a culture, you can break the ice in conversation, make a joke, or construct a speech better.’
      • ‘Perhaps next time, we should break the ice and make proper conversation.’
      • ‘He had to break the ice before she would really engage in a conversation.’
      • ‘And so the audience laughed and that kind of broke the ice.’
      • ‘I offered, trying to keep the conversation to a minimum and break the ice at the same time.’
      • ‘Although watching together broke the ice, the tension was still there.’
      • ‘The bartender decided to break the ice and make a little conversation.’
  • on ice

    • 1(of wine or food) kept chilled by being surrounded by ice.

      • ‘Will the stars have to go without hair dryers and champagne on ice?’
      • ‘On arrival, there's champagne on ice and an artily cut fruit platter.’
      • ‘Andy, the perfect host, had arranged for several buckets of champagne to be waiting on ice for us in the interval bar.’
      • ‘But it was the champions-elect that were sent home in defeat, the champagne, for now at least, chilling on ice.’
      • ‘In anticipation of victory the bubbly stuff was already on ice.’
      • ‘Should it emerge that Terem was not an isolated incident, no-one need put any champagne on ice before next Friday.’
      • ‘We have the champagne on ice and are ready to pay out the prize, so I'd encourage everyone to check their tickets.’
      • ‘He had hired a gleaming limousine, saved up for the £1,300 diamond ring and ordered the champagne to be put 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. 1.1(especially of a plan or proposal) held in reserve for future consideration.
        ‘the recommendation was put on ice’
        • ‘Initially, it was hoped the family would jet off to the States this summer but the gruelling chemotherapy sessions have put plans on ice.’
        • ‘So the plan has been put on ice until the society can convince them that it is safe.’
        • ‘Two planning applications have had to be put on ice after a council failed to tell people about a crucial meeting.’
        • ‘Plans for a lavish Christmas wedding have been put on ice while the couple take stock of their 15-month relationship.’
        • ‘Early in March, Genesis Energy put plans on ice for two coal-fired power stations in Huntly.’
        • ‘However, the plan was put on ice after a study showed that a third network was not economically feasible.’
        • ‘‘They will be kept on ice for future use,’ I replied.’
        • ‘Mr Wicks said putting the plans on ice would cut down the overall cost of the massive engineering scheme by an estimated £220m.’
        • ‘The European partnership, meanwhile, is on ice and likely to remain so.’
        • ‘Put bad food habits on ice with these tips to revamp your refrigerator.’
        in abeyance, pending, ongoing, 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
        deferred, postponed, put off
        awaiting attention, awaiting decision, awaiting action, unattended to, outstanding, unfinished, incomplete
        unresolved, undetermined, undecided, unsettled, unconcluded, uncertain
        on the back burner, in cold storage
        View synonyms
    • 2(of an entertainment) performed by skaters.

      ‘Cinderella on Ice’
      • ‘The floor is painted in whirls of dusty white, so we seem to be viewing a performance on ice.’
      • ‘Everyone has watched accomplished skaters spin on ice.’
      • ‘I admire the skill and dedication of the athletes who perform on ice and snow, and I'll be a faithful viewer of this year's Games.’
      • ‘In 1973, at the age of 9, Nina Ananiashvili performed on ice an adaptation of Michel Fokine's solo The Dying Swan.’
      • ‘And during the shoot in Norway, John risked his life by performing a series of extreme stunts on ice.’
      • ‘It would be a unique event as Indians for the first time would get to watch white bear performing on ice.’
      • ‘Intriguingly, the director chose to re-enact the story on ice, employing top figure skaters from eastern Europe.’
  • on thin ice

    • In a precarious or risky situation.

      ‘you're skating 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.’
      • ‘When you deal with this subject you skate on thin ice.’
      • ‘As far as her film career goes, Courtney is skating on thin ice.’
      • ‘He is on thin ice here, but he is smart enough, and gutsy enough to get away with it.’
      • ‘The young bachelor was treading on thin ice after showing up two and a half hours late.’
      • ‘Lea knew for some time she was on thin ice but that didn't seem to stop her.’
      • ‘The agencies are putting GM and Ford on thin ice with ratings just barely above junk bond status.’
      • ‘Developers who want to build 71 houses on the site of Altrincham Ice Rink could be skating on thin ice.’
      • ‘I'm already treading on thin ice because of my out-spokenness.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • ice over (or up)

    • Become completely covered or blocked with ice.

      ‘the wings iced over, forcing the pilot to dive’
      • ‘Quickly, he turned to the door and found the handle and the seams of the door iced over, which helped trap the water as well.’
      • ‘Suddenly he ran across an iced over puddle of water and he fell down onto the snow.’
      • ‘It's also kind of dangerous because there is a water spout that empties right there and that ices over at night.’
      freeze, freeze over, turn into ice, harden, solidify
      View synonyms


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

Main definitions of ice in English

: ice1ICE2ICE3


  • Internal combustion engine.

Main definitions of ice in English

: ice1ICE2ICE3



  • An entry stored in a person's mobile phone that provides emergency contact information.

    ‘paramedics failed to check his phone for ICE’
    [as modifier] ‘a newer phone may have an ICE key’
    • ‘We received an email claiming that having an ICE entry in your phone book could expose your mobile to a downloadable virus.’
    • ‘Everyone should put a contact number in their mobile phone and name it ICE (In Case of Emergency)’
    • ‘If you've been in an accident, one of the first places paramedics will check for a next-of-kin ICE contact is your mobile phone.’
    • ‘At just 10g, it's lightweight, but is as obvious to paramedics as traditional jewellery - while holding more information than the ICE number on your phone.’
    • ‘Add an entry in your mobile phone's contacts for ICE with name and contact info.’
    • ‘We have been inundated with emails and phone calls from people worried that, having put ICE into their mobiles, they are now going to be charged for the privilege.’
    • ‘Put an ICE number in your mobile’
    • ‘The idea is that you enter the word ICE in your cellphone address book and against it the number of the person who you would want to be contacted 'in case of emergency'.’
    • ‘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.’


  • Program (a mobile phone) with emergency information.

    ‘frequent flyers are among those who routinely ICE their cell phones’
    • ‘Another post-SPI photo by Tom Dowling - Still some ICEing problems, but SPI is less likely to be ICEd.’


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