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 Noctilucent clouds occur when astronomical light reflects on ice in the clouds. Fox News, "Neowise comet and rare astronomical phenomena captured in remarkable image," 11 July 2020 The group released a report with findings and recommendations, including community college feeder programs to ease hiring — an idea that’s now on ice. Rachel Swan,, "Jeffrey Tumlin was hailed as SF’s transportation savior. Now the Muni chief faces a leadership test," 11 July 2020 In the case of the seven teams (Detroit, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Buffalo and New Jersey) that did not make the playoffs, that means those players will not have been part of an on-ice team activity in nine months. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' next season: Circle these dates on the calendar (maybe)," 9 July 2020 Ekman-Larsson said that Taylor Hall has also provided a little bit of everything on ice. Jack Williams, The Arizona Republic, "Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson continues to adjust to 'new normal' heading into postseason," 8 July 2020 Make serving your guests easy with this platter on ice. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "How to host a socially distant summer party," 8 July 2020 Casey's body remained in Canada -- on ice -- for weeks. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Casey Kasem's wife, children accused each other of "killing" radio icon," 4 July 2020 Palmer's plans were trimmed—EV development suspended, plans to revive Lagonda put on ice—and more money was raised to keep the company going, at increasingly usurious interest rates. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Aston Smarting: Could Anything Have Changed Andy Palmer's Aston Martin Tenure?," 2 July 2020 Ohio State’s on-field rivalry with Alabama is chilling on ice, ready to be poured out if necessary if the College Football Playoff pairs the teams before their 2027-28 series. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s recruiting rivalry with Alabama is about to get more real: Buckeye Take," 27 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

28 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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