icebreaker

noun
ice·​break·​er | \ ˈīs-ˌbrā-kər How to pronounce icebreaker (audio) \

Definition of icebreaker

1 : a ship equipped (as with a reinforced bow) to make and maintain a channel through ice
2 : something that is done or said to get through the first difficulties in starting a conversation or discussion Roughly half of all Americans are invested in the market these days, and stock holdings have replaced politics, weather and sports as the go-to conversational icebreaker.— Adam Bryant … she also pays particular attention to icebreakers that relax guests and get them rubbing elbows, such as a cruise up the Colorado River, where guests nibble on hors d'oeuvres and sip Fall Creek wines.— Steve Heimoff — see also break the ice at break entry 1

Examples of icebreaker in a Sentence

using an old joke as a conversational icebreaker
Recent Examples on the Web The Healy, an icebreaker commissioned in 1999, recently completed a transit of the Arctic Northwest Passage. CBS News, 15 Oct. 2021 The Healy, an icebreaker commissioned in 1999, recently completed a transit of the Arctic Northwest Passage. Mark Pratt, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Oct. 2021 Interviewers typically use this question as an icebreaker or to quickly get to know a candidate. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, 28 Sep. 2021 Earlier in the transit, the icebreaker encountered a passage clogged with towering, jagged fragments of broken ice that had been compacted together by severe winds. Aryn Baker, Time, 13 Sep. 2021 The three-year contract included the first-ever opt-out clause when MacPhail agreed to it as an icebreaker. Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 The opening, documented by scientists aboard a German icebreaker, popped up in late July and August in the Wandel Sea north of Greenland. NBC News, 2 July 2021 The opening, documented by scientists aboard a German icebreaker, popped up in late July and August in the Wandel Sea north of Greenland. NBC News, 2 July 2021 The opening, documented by scientists aboard a German icebreaker, popped up in late July and August in the Wandel Sea north of Greenland. Seth Borenstein, Star Tribune, 1 July 2021

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

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of icebreaker was in 1825

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Dictionary Entries Near icebreaker

icebox

icebreaker

ice calorimeter

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Statistics for icebreaker

Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Icebreaker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/icebreaker. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for icebreaker

icebreaker

noun

English Language Learners Definition of icebreaker

: a ship designed to clear a passage through ice
: something done or said to help people to relax and begin talking at a meeting, party, etc.

icebreaker

noun
ice·​break·​er | \ ˈīs-ˌbrā-kər How to pronounce icebreaker (audio) \

Kids Definition of icebreaker

1 : a ship equipped to make and keep open a channel through ice
2 : something said or done that helps people relax and begin talking in a social situation The party game was a good icebreaker.

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