ice cap


Definition of ice cap 

1 : an ice bag shaped to the head

2 : a cover of perennial ice and snow specifically : a glacier forming on an extensive area of relatively level land and flowing outward from its center

Examples of ice cap in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One of the biggest potential dangers of increasing climate change is sea level rise caused by the melting of the polar ice caps. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Antarctica's Ice May Be More Durable Than We Thought," 13 June 2018 But because the southern winter is far more extreme than the northern winter, the southern polar ice caps grow more than twice as far as their northern counterparts. Shannon Hall, New York Times, "Never Mind the Summer Heat: Earth Is at Its Greatest Distance From the Sun," 5 July 2018 During springtime, frozen carbon dioxide trapped below the ice cap turns from a solid state into a gas, forming features that from above look like dark spiders. Shannon Stirone, WIRED, "Space Photos of the Week: Mars Has Spiders in the Springtime," 14 July 2018 The nearly five-hour hearing covered topics including the history of climate change research, carbon dioxide’s role as a greenhouse gas, melting ice caps, rising sea levels and extreme weather. Sudhin Thanawala, The Seattle Times, "US judge throws out climate change lawsuits against big oil," 26 June 2018 Some of that lead settled on Greenland’s ice cap and mixed in with ever-accumulating layers of ice. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: HPV vaccine debate, 2000-year-old pollution, and a lawmaker’s views on sea level rise," 18 May 2018 Subsequent research published in Nature magazine on the history of Greenland’s ice cap demonstrated this to be impossible. Pat Michaels And, WSJ, "Thirty Years On, How Well Do Global Warming Predictions Stand Up?," 21 June 2018 As Katie Langin at Science reports, researchers recently found some insight locked in Greenland’s ice cap. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Greenland’s Ice Provides a Year-By-Year Account of the Roman Empire’s Economy," 16 May 2018 Matt: Al wrote those lyrics long before there were any real fears about the melting polar ice caps. Ron Hart, Billboard, "Cult Metal Favorites Sleep Talk Reunion Album, Third Man Records & Changing Attitudes Toward Marijuana," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ice cap.' 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 cap

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ice cap

Statistics for ice cap

Last Updated

27 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ice cap

The first known use of ice cap was in 1816

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ice cap

ice cap


English Language Learners Definition of ice cap

: a very large and thick sheet of ice that covers the North Pole, the South Pole, or another region

ice cap


Kids Definition of ice cap

: a large more or less level glacier flowing outward in all directions from its center

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ice cap

See words that rhyme with ice cap

Spanish Central: Translation of ice cap Encyclopedia article about ice cap

Comments on ice cap

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


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!