noun, often attributive
\ ˈīs How to pronounce ice (audio) \

Definition of ice

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : frozen water
b : a sheet or stretch of ice
2 : a substance resembling ice especially : the solid state of a substance usually found as a gas or liquid ammonia ice in the rings of Saturn
3 : a state of coldness (as from formality or reserve)
4a : a frozen dessert containing a flavoring (such as fruit juice) especially : one containing no milk or cream
b British : a serving of ice cream
5 slang : diamonds broadly : jewelry
6 : an undercover premium paid to a theater employee for choice theater tickets
on ice
1 : with every likelihood of being won or accomplished
2 : in reserve or safekeeping
on thin ice
: in a precarious or risky situation


iced; icing

Definition of ice (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to coat with or convert into ice
b : to chill with ice
c : to supply with ice
2 : to cover with or as if with icing
3 : to put on ice
4 : secure sense 1b made two free throws … to ice the win— Jack McCallum
5 : to shoot (an ice hockey puck) the length of the rink and beyond the opponents' goal line
6 slang : kill sense 1a

intransitive verb

1 : to become ice-cold
2a : to become covered with ice often used with up or over
b : to have ice form inside
\ əs \

Definition of -ice (Entry 3 of 5)

: act service : quality justice : condition cowardice

Definition of Ice (Entry 4 of 5)


Definition of ICE (Entry 5 of 5)

1 Immigration and Customs Enforcement In March 2003, the Homeland Security Act set into motion what would be the single-largest government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense. One of the agencies in the new Department of Homeland Security was the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, now known as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. —
2 in case of emergency Enter an ICE (in case of emergency) listing in the address book of your cell phone. Place the ICE acronym next to a person who can assist emergency workers if any important medical decisions need to be made.— Andrew Weil
3 internal combustion engine
4 International Cultural Exchange

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Other Words from ice


iceless \ ˈīs-​ləs How to pronounce ICE (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ice in a Sentence

Noun The steps were coated with ice. Ice formed on the car's windows. The ice melted quickly in the hot sun. She skated out onto the ice. He almost fell through a hole in the ice. Fill the glass with ice. He gave her some ice for her birthday. Verb Ice the glasses before you fill them. with that win, the team has pretty much iced a spot in the play-offs
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Authentic photos of boats in Texas that are not covered in ice were recently shared on Facebook by the Kemah Boardwalk Marina. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Image of frozen boats is from 2005 Switzerland ice storm, not Texas," 17 Feb. 2021 Pagel, who pulled into Mile 101 with her fur ruff frosted in ice, parked her team and settled in for a five-hour stop. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "The Summit Quest: How one of Alaska’s toughest races tests mushers with mountains, rocks and cold," 16 Feb. 2021 In comparison to other years, the Great Lakes haven't been shrouded in ice. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Rare triple ice volcanoes on Lake Superior captured in stunning video," 15 Feb. 2021 Neeson plays one of a few survivors of a deadly plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness who must fend for their lives in the ice and snow, with the lingering threat of a wolf attack. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Snow movies: 25 flaky films to watch in the winter weather, from ‘Fargo’ to ‘Frozen’," 15 Feb. 2021 But rather than presenting their fate as an ending, Simpson goes beyond rhetorical strategies of synecdoche and metonymy to represent the whole encased in ice. Star Tribune, "Review: 'Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies,' by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson," 12 Feb. 2021 But then a crack in the ice appears with the election of Yitzhak Rabin, who represents the left-leaning Labor Party (as opposed to Shamir, who represented the right-wing Likud faction), in June 1992. Daphne Merkin, The New Republic, "The Human Factor Tallies the What Ifs of Israel-Palestine Peace Talks," 8 Feb. 2021 Barents died in 1597, after his ship became trapped in ice during an attempt to crest the top of the world and find a trade route to China. The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 18 Jan. 2021 Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton make confident leads in the story of Norwegian and American scientists who discover an alien in the ice. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 30 Best Horror Movies on HBO Max," 8 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The forecast calls for 2 to 5 inches of snow and ice accumulation of one-tenth to three-tenths of an inch across the central to southwestern areas of the southern state. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM idles shifts at 4 factories amid arctic blast; 8,000 workers affected," 16 Feb. 2021 In places where pipes never freeze and bridges rarely ice over, even a light snowstorm can prove dangerous. New York Times, "Icy Storm Barrels Across Central U.S., Leaving Millions Without Power," 15 Feb. 2021 Pemberton capitalized on a second chance at the line, hitting two free throws to ice the game and end UNT’s four-game winning streak. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, "Louisiana Tech rallies to knock off UNT, damage Mean Green's C-USA title hopes," 5 Feb. 2021 Taurean Prince hit two free throws with 3.9 seconds left to ice the game. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, "Brief lead doesn't last long as Timberwolves edged by Cavaliers," 1 Feb. 2021 Yet to ice the game, to send the up-and-coming Browns home, Henne needed to earn his keep with a deft impersonation of Mahomes. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Chiefs love Patrick Mahomes but prove they're more than a one-man show," 18 Jan. 2021 Bey hit a couple of free throws to cap a career-high 28-point day on just 11 shots to ice the game and cap the scoring. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah basketball’s latest loss tough to stomach, and Larry Krystkowiak didn’t hide it," 24 Jan. 2021 Top a cupcake with a ring, or ice the question onto your partner’s favorite cake. Alesandra Dubin, Good Housekeeping, "15 Best Proposal Ideas for a Fairy-Tale Engagement," 22 Jan. 2021 The 6-foot-1 senior topped off his 36 carries for 185 yards night with a 15-yard touchdown to ice the game. J.l. Kirven, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati high school football playoffs: Badin falls to Alter," 31 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ice


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for ice


Middle English is, from Old English īs; akin to Old High German īs ice, Avestan isu- icy

Noun suffix

French, suffix forming nouns from nouns and adjectives, going back to Old French -ise, -ice, partially nativized borrowing from Latin -itia, suffix forming nouns from adjectives (usually monosyllabic), extended form of -ia -ia entry 1, and -itium, forming nouns usually designating status (as servitium service entry 1) from personal nouns

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Time Traveler for ice

Time Traveler

The first known use of ice was before the 12th century

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Statistics for ice

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for ice



English Language Learners Definition of ice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: frozen water
: a sheet of frozen water
: cubes or pieces of ice



English Language Learners Definition of ice (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) cold with ice
: to cover (something, such as a cake) with icing
US, informal : to make winning or getting (something) certain


\ ˈīs How to pronounce ice (audio) \

Kids Definition of ice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : frozen water
2 : a sheet of frozen water She skated out onto the ice.
3 : a substance like ice Ammonia ice is found in the rings of Saturn.
4 : a frozen dessert usually made with sweetened fruit juice


iced; icing

Kids Definition of ice (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to coat or become coated with ice The roads iced up.
2 : to chill with ice Ice the glasses.
3 : to cover with icing


\ ˈīs How to pronounce ice (audio) \

Medical Definition of ice

1 : frozen water

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Legal Definition of ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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Comments on ice

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