Definition of icicle in English:



  • 1A hanging, tapering piece of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water.

    • ‘Water dripped from icicles outside my window as the temperature rose above freezing for the first time in a long while in the heat of mid-afternoon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Meanwhile dangerous icicles hanging from a railway bridge in Harrogate caused concern and were reported to Railtrack to be removed.’
    • ‘They loved making snow angels and licking icicles as though they were popsicles.’
    • ‘Somewhere inside, most of us are still trained to think of a seasonal cycle, part of which involves snowy landscapes, frost-crusted woods, icicles, frozen ponds.’
    • ‘Here, where the branches of my beautiful weeping white birch tree will soon be laden with frozen snow and long icicles, replacing the bright golden leaves that now grace them.’
    • ‘He's lured to her snow castle, a version of Wolfgang's inn as covered in snow and icicles.’
    • ‘Eventually he was forced to land after 2ft long icicles threatened to puncture the balloon which was cruising at an average height of around 14,000 feet.’
    • ‘He sent ABC Gippsland a great collection of photos from that trip and this photo showing Mt Hotham's wintery icicles is perfect for the Winter Photo Comp!’
    • ‘The other photograph shows a picturesque frozen cascade formed by icicles clinging to the rock face of Old Town Quarry, Harwood, in 1963.’
    • ‘It is so cold that icicles hang from Joe's sodden coat.’
    • ‘I drank three coffees and forced myself out for a brisk walk to photograph the dripping icicles before they melt.’
    • ‘Within the cave is an icicle of natural ice formed in the shape of the ‘Lingam’.’
    • ‘We had three feet of snow, icicles everywhere on trees and buildings, and we skittered from fire to fire, knowing we were in the midst of something historic in literature.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Christmas has a certain magical quality for children: snowball fights, snowmen, icicles hanging from rooftops, frozen ponds and icy - slidey pavements.’
    • ‘It is mainly locals who experience it as icicles, since visiting Stehekin over winter is even more problematic - thanks to harsh weather that can sweep in over the space of just a few hours.’
    • ‘The water coming over my bow froze the control lines in place and icicles formed off the trailing edge of the mast, frozen horizontal by the wind flow.’
    • ‘Giant icicles glistened against the 185 ft drop, as multiple rainbows added to the perfect postcard outside my 27th floor window.’
    • ‘Like most newcomers, all he wanted to do was slag the winter, unable to see the merits of this funny little town for the icicles and subzero temperatures.’
    frozen water
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A thin, shiny strip of plastic or foil hung on a Christmas tree for decoration.
      • ‘To tell you the truth, I think there were more icicles in the girls' hair than on the Christmas tree!’
      • ‘Ethereal and intricate hangings made from beaded ceramics, lace, and even origami feature alongside more familiar designs including shiny baubles and icicles.’


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