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 Pushor, in his first full season in the Wings' defense corps, got a few short shots in before Severyn, a veteran winger, wrestled him to the ice. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' 1997 fight with Claude Lemieux, Avs: What you may not remember," 26 Mar. 2020 Garnier’s darkness is of the kind that only astronauts get to see, gleaming, depthless, yet dotted throughout with mysterious points of light at once ice-cold and curiously consoling. John Banville, The New York Review of Books, "No One Gets Out Alive," 24 Mar. 2020 The Arctic is on track to be ice-free in summers in 20 years, researchers say, while the Amazon rain forest could turn into a savanna in 50 years. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "What Climate Change Can Teach Us About Fighting the Coronavirus," 12 Mar. 2020 People now use more than seventy per cent of the earth’s ice-free land, according to a special report, published in August, by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, much of it to serve the interests of urbanites. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, "Rem Koolhaas’s Journey to the Countryside," 9 Mar. 2020 Sure, those paces and records are based on the entire season’s results, so things can change if one team gets hot (like the Wild or Predators have done this season) or if one goes ice cold (like the Stars are currently doing). Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Matt’s mail: On the Stars’ playoff positioning, prospects, third jerseys and more," 8 Mar. 2020 For example, whales take advantage of the ice-free passages cleared by large vessels. Chiara Eisner, Scientific American, "Arctic Exploitation May Harm Animals Large and Small," 5 Mar. 2020 The largely ice-free Great Lakes are the reason why this snow event is so significant. NBC News, "Cold grips the East Coast as lake-effect snow ramps up," 28 Feb. 2020 The effect is heightened right now by very mild and mostly ice-free Great Lakes waters, thanks to a very warm winter so far. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Blizzard could dump 4 feet of lake-effect snow on upstate New York," 27 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But after Calgary iced the puck three times in a row, Bergeron got his second — and 29th of the season — off a Pastrnak shot that caromed off the end boards. Matt Porter,, "Bruins slip past Flames," 21 Feb. 2020 The coastline is where humans live, in little clusters of brightly colored houses clinging to slopes above bays that are iced over for half the year. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "A Boat Hunt for Musk Ox and Caribou in Greenland," 21 Feb. 2020 While at the children's hospice, Sophie read to kids, spoke to parents about the the organization's important services, and tried her hand at icing a Valentine’s Day biscuit. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Sophie, Countess of Wessex Celebrated an Early Valentine's Day with Families at a Children's Hospice," 12 Feb. 2020 If Hintz and Cogliano are unable to play, Bowness said the Stars might ice 11 forwards and seven defensemen since Dallas does not have any roster space to recall a forward from AHL affiliate Texas. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Rick Bowness says Stars look to generate offense ‘any way we can get it’," 29 Jan. 2020 In the warmer months, there’s even a machine churning creamy, pale orange Thai iced tea slushies. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, "Currently Obsessed With: The Cafeteria-Style Lunch at Little Wayla," 9 Jan. 2020 Add another strip of the cement icing down the crack where the two roof halves meet. Saveur, "How to Build a Gingerbread House, From Dough to Decor," 13 Dec. 2019 Seth Burks’ putback with less than a minute left gave the Highlanders (1-0) a 35-34 lead and Ben Purvis iced the game with two late free throws to seal the win. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Floyd Central boys basketball gets a win in an "ugly game" in the season opener," 27 Nov. 2019 Complimentary beverages are lemonade, iced tea, coffee and water. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Greater Cleveland Fish Fry Guide 2020: Northeast Ohio’s most complete list," 26 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

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 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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