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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With the minibottles, a bar patron would be served the mixers or ice, and the bottle to pour themselves. Stefene Russell, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 July 2022 The coffee maker offers three brew styles—classic, rich, and over-ice—and nine preset brew sizes for ground coffee, from a small cup to a travel mug to a full carafe. Kylee Mcguigan, Popular Mechanics, 21 July 2022 How to drink it: Neeley Family Distillery's Lemon Drop Moonshine is smooth enough to be enjoyed over ice by itself. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 19 July 2022 The cocktail, made with dark rum and ginger beer over ice with a slice of lime, is popular among sailors. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 16 July 2022 Coffee grounds are steeped in water between 12-24 hours and then strained over a coffee filter to make cold brew concentrate that's diluted with water or milk and served over ice. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 7 July 2022 Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with a grapefruit peel. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 2 July 2022 Pour it over ice, add a splash of reposado tequila and a little bit of lime. Adam Morganstern, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Pour all ingredients, including mint leaves, into a cocktail shaker over ice. Liza Weisstuch,, 14 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That water splashing onto supercooled surfaces — like asphalt roads and the snow surface — morphed to ice. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2022 Ross also secured the defensive rebound off Marist’s miss on the ensuing possession and hit two free throws to ice the game. Casey Drottar,, 19 Jan. 2022 The three climbers slid on snow and ice about 1,500 to 2,500 vertical feet down the mountain. Felicia Alvarez, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2022 Williams hit two free throws at the other end to allow the building to breathe, and Fudd hit two more to ice it. Dom Amore,, 22 Mar. 2022 Others feature smiling children ice skating and tending gardens. Bill O'reilly, NBC News, 23 May 2022 Junior goalkeeper Ellie Baum stopped St. Francis’ first three shots in the second half, but Lauren Bruce scored on a 20-yard shot from a tough angle to ice the game with 55 seconds left. Matt Le Cren,, 8 Apr. 2022 Instead, with the Spurs ahead by a point, Murray went to the line and made two foul shots to ice the game. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Mar. 2022 There is a noise that, these past two years, has acquired the power to turn my blood to ice: my child’s sneeze, followed by a wet sniffle. Elizabeth G. Dunn, The Atlantic, 8 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for ice


\ 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



Legal Definition of ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

More from Merriam-Webster on ice

Nglish: Translation of ice for Spanish Speakers

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


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