Definition of brinicle in US English:



  • A long, tapering vertical tube of ice formed in the sea around a plume of very cold seawater produced by a developing ice sheet.

    ‘an unprecedented time-lapse shot underwater records the growth of a brinicle—an ice stalactite progressing downward toward the seabed’
    • ‘As it grows down toward the seabed, the brinicle freezes everything it touches,’
    • ‘The brinicle has been nicknamed 'the icy finger of death'.’
    • ‘The team journeyed under the ice to meticulously document the formation of "brinicles" - columns of frozen seawater - that snake down, tornado-like, to the ocean floor.’
    • ‘Berlowitz recalls first seeing the footage of the brinicle and not even believing it herself.’
    • ‘It forms a brinicle as it contacts warmer water below the surface.’
    • ‘Where the so-called "brinicle" met the sea bed, a web of ice formed that froze everything it touched, including sea urchins and starfish.’
    • ‘Vanessa's team also adapted the technology to film the mysterious process of "brinicle formation", which has never before been filmed.’
    • ‘Brinicles are found in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.’
    • ‘Below the frozen ice a 'brinicle' forms, working its way down to the ocean floor.’
    • ‘New video has been released that shows the formation of a brinicle on the ocean floor.’


Early 21st century: blend of brine and icicle.