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 iceless (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 Most recently, a 26-year-old Brazilian man was rescued from the area in April after running out of food and becoming trapped when ice over the Teklanika River melted and the rushing waters swelled. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "State removes infamous ‘Into the Wild’ bus after years of hiker rescues and deaths," 19 June 2020 Olivas sourced special packaging and rethought the menu: juice in a separate section, an ice bed for some dishes and showcasing the versatile shrimp. Washington Post, "‘Adapt or die’ -- Restaurants find ways to evolve amid virus," 18 June 2020 Homemade ice creams, including pandan coconut, durian, ube and Malaysian milk tea flavors have also graced the menu. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Katy Asian Town's Phat Eatery celebrating 2 years with $2 deals, new dim sum menu," 18 June 2020 That means placing cold, wet cloths or ice to the person's head, neck, armpits, and groin; and circulating air around the ill person to speed cooling. Maggie O'neill,, "6 Heat Stroke Symptoms You Need to Know, According to Experts," 18 June 2020 When Loren Cuevas conceived the pop-song moniker of her shop three summers ago, the idea was that Ice Ice Baby would be a snowcone, shaved-ice, raspa kind of place. Mike Sutter,, "10 great San Antonio fruterías with mangonadas, raspas, aguas frescas and chamoy galore," 18 June 2020 For goaltenders, especially Coyotes starter Darcy Kuemper, replicating workflow without access to ice is close to impossible. Richard Morin, azcentral, "For Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper, staying in shape comes harder to those in net," 18 June 2020 After six minutes, transfer the eggs to an ice bath to let cool completely — at least 15 minutes. Dallas News, "Potato salad celebration: 4 recipes for your next socially-distanced picnic," 17 June 2020 The mathematician who follows the ice queen often dislikes concrete applications or specific cases — Alexander Grothendieck, one of the high priests of abstract algebra, once famously picked 57 as an example of a prime number. Quanta Magazine, "The Two Forms of Mathematical Beauty," 16 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The coaches and players all listen to each other and ice out any problems. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "‘The longest step’: How the Dallas Fuel have used practice to hunt for top status in Overwatch League," 15 May 2020 After being iced out by the WHO, Taiwan, which is about four times smaller than Florida, has had to rely on itself to fight a number of different public health issues. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Taiwan hits back at World Health Organization chief's claims of racism," 10 Apr. 2020 But defenseman Michal Kempny iced the win by scoring from the right circle with 6:21 to go. Sam Carchidi,, "Caps whip Vegas; one win away from first Stanley Cup," 4 June 2018 Ready-to-drink iced tea can contain up to 32 grams of sugar per bottle. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The top 5 ways to cut sugar from your diet," 16 Mar. 2020 First, ice all your cookies with white royal icing and let the icing set. Bh&g Holiday Editors, Better Homes & Gardens, "6 Stunning Easter Cookie Decorating Ideas You Need to Try This Weekend," 7 Apr. 2020 By January, the Bering Sea ices over, and remains frozen for nearly seven months. Kristina Rizga, The Atlantic, "The Alaska Native Teacher Upending the Legacy of Colonial Education," 4 Apr. 2020 Through the first 12 minutes, the Wings iced the puck five times and had four shots, while the Bruins had 14 shots. Matt Porter,, "Observations from the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Red Wings," 15 Feb. 2020 Winston missed his 3-point attempt to tie short off the front of the rim, and Penn State iced the game with two free throws from Jones. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Cassius Winston misses twice late in Michigan State's 75-70 loss to Penn State," 5 Feb. 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

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for ice


How to pronounce ICE (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on ice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ice

Spanish Central: Translation of ice

Nglish: Translation of ice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ice for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ice

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