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


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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The extravaganza marks the first show on ice for Cirque Du Soleil. Algerina Perna,, "Behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil," 6 July 2018 Blake Christensen's hockey career started here, on this ice. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "His hockey career began in South Florida. This week, he skated with the Panthers' top prospects," 29 June 2018 One of the officers responding to the call slipped on ice and injured herself, the document states. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Canadian cops accused of eating pot-infused chocolate on the job, calling police for help," 28 June 2018 Igloo Coolers have been keeping drinks on ice since 1947. Southern Living, "5 Awesome Products Surprisingly Made in the South," 20 June 2018 Anglers are also reminded to never move live fish away from a waterbody (kill the fish and put them on ice). Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Quagga mussels, Eurasian water milfoil, spiny water fleas ... and a catchy tune," 20 June 2018 In the seafood terminal, fresh perch from Egypt, caught in the Nile, arrived on ice. Sean Patrick Cooper, The New Republic, "Is America Ready for the Next Superstorm?," 4 June 2018 New York dermatologist Ellen Marmur, M.D., puts her SPF on ice. Gina Way, Marie Claire, "15 Genius Sun-Safe Hacks You Need to Try This Summer," 25 May 2018 Now doctors have put the Iceman’s brain—and body— on ice in an effort to better understand the mental and physical mechanisms that allow Hof to seemingly defy the laws of nature. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Science Explains How the Iceman Resists Extreme Cold," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The frosting drizzled over the crust of sugar crystals was pure icing on the cake. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Try one of these top 13 best-reviewed Louisville restaurants of 2018," 15 June 2018 Kilpatrick iced the game with a 3-pointer with 56.5 seconds to go for a 118-114 lead. John Jackson, charlotteobserver, "Despite big night from center Dwight Howard, Hornets drop fourth straight | Charlotte Observer," 3 Apr. 2018 McCalla iced the game with two free throws with 8.2 seconds left. Craig Clary,, "Catonsville High girls bid for second straight state championship falls short in loss to Eleanor Roosevelt," 10 Mar. 2018 Another took warm, gooey asphalt from a dump truck into its hopper and spread it on the street with the care of a pastry chef icing a cake. John Kelly, Washington Post, "From potholes to perfect pavement: My neighborhood has lovely new streets," 24 June 2018 The 8-inch cake is coated in white buttercream icing with rainbow sprinkles and is available for $69.95. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Houston takes the cake for LGBT Pride month," 11 June 2018 The sight of Kevin Durant icing Game 3 with an uncontestable 32-footer will become one of these playoffs' lasting memories, just as Durant's pull-up three over LeBron James came to illustrate the Finals last year. Rob Mahoney,, "Death by a Thousand Cuts: How Golden State Terrorized Cleveland at the Rim," 7 June 2018 This is icing on the cake, winning the region and finishing third down here. James Weber,, "Sophie Skinner, champion divers Finn Murphy, Lindsey Fox headline Ky. state swimming meet," 25 Feb. 2018 The words were meant to ice down the heated dissent and remind the upstarts to heed their British masters. Kyle Swenson, Washington Post, "Sessions says the Bible justifies separating immigrant families. The verses he cited are infamous.," 15 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ice

Dictionary Entries near ice





ice age

ice anchor

ice apron

Statistics for ice

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ice

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Legal Definition of ICE 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ice

What made you want to look up ice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!