noun, often attributive
\ ˈīs \

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


abbreviation (1)

Definition of Ice (Entry 4 of 5)



abbreviation (2)

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 \ adjective

Examples of ice in a Sentence


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.


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

The strangely smooth moons such as Europa and Enceladus are now known to be shells of ice covering gigantic oceans. Dennis Overbye,, "Bradford Smith, 86, dies; showed postcards from outer space," 13 July 2018 Just 500 miles of ice dominating the horizon in all directions. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 Completed in 2010, the IceCube neutrino detector snares these elusive particles in a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Ghostly particle caught in polar ice ushers in new way to look at the universe," 12 July 2018 Composed of more than 5,000 sensors embedded in a cubic kilometer of ice sitting deep beneath the Antarctic surface, IceCube picks up the flashes of blue light caused by secondary particles after a neutrino makes contact. Amina Khan,, "After years of searching, scientists finally trace high-energy neutrinos to a distant blazar," 12 July 2018 The strangely smooth moons like Europa and Enceladus are now known to be shells of ice covering gigantic oceans. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Bradford Smith, Who Showed Postcards From Outer Space, Dies at 86," 11 July 2018 These satellites are sensitive enough to detect the changing levels of ice at the Earth’s poles, determine how much water is stored in underground aquifers, or track the movement of magma beneath the Earth's surface. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's New Climate Satellites Are Pioneering Laser Rangefinding Tech," 10 July 2018 Like many hibernating insects, overwintering mosquitoes depend on supercooling, a process by which an animal has the ability to rid its body fluids of impurities that would trigger the formation of ice. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Only female mosquitoes bother us (and other facts about the insects Alaskans love to hate)," 7 July 2018 During a recent visit to Chimney Rock State Park, Susie Leighty captured video of ice breaking away from a waterfall. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "After three years on the fritz, Chimney Rock's buried elevator is running again," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One clip sees Gomez gargle an eyeball, roll–back zombie eyes and eat icing off her leg with a butcher’s knife. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Selena Gomez Turns Scream Queen for Petra Collins' New Horror Film: Watch the Teaser," 21 June 2018 That code determines where the printer moves along its track, extruding 3⁄4-inch-thick layers of concrete like icing on a cake. Andrea Powell, WIRED, "How to 3-D Print an Entire House in a Single Day," 11 July 2018 But arguably the decade's best culinary legacy was Dunkaroos, those delicious little cookies with icing on the side and a smiling kangaroo on the packaging. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Kim Kardashian Wants to Bring Back Dunkaroos," 28 Apr. 2018 And Antonio Blakeney continued the need to ice his shooting elbow, scoring 24 points on 22 shots. K.c. Johnson,, "As Bulls' summer league concludes, GM Gar Forman addresses play of 1st-round picks," 14 July 2018 In 2010, 2016 and 2017, the Caps iced the best team in the regular season and entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed., "What they're saying about the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup victory," 8 June 2018 Since then, Trump has iced out Muslims and scapegoated our community for his own political gain. Ziad Ahmed, Teen Vogue, "The 2018 Iftar Dinner at the White House Wasn’t Really for American Muslims," 7 June 2018 But Gabriel kept swishing shots from deep and the Wildcats iced the game at the free-throw line, making 20 of 28 overall. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky basketball drops Alabama, advances to fifth-straight SEC Tournament final," 10 Mar. 2018 Also be sure to use pet-friendly de-icing products around your house (if possible, ask your neighborhood to do the same) such as Safe Paw Ice Melter. Karen Asp, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways To Protect Your Dog From Common (But Potentially Deadly) Winter Dangers," 29 Dec. 2017

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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Learn More about ice

Dictionary Entries near ice





ice age

ice anchor

ice apron

Statistics for ice

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ice

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

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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

: to make winning or getting (something) certain


\ ˈīs \

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 \

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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to make amends

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