icebreaker

noun
ice·​break·​er | \ ˈīs-ˌbrā-kər \

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 app will suggest icebreakers to get the convo started. Kara Wahlgren, Seventeen, "The 7 Best Dating Apps for Teens," 13 Nov. 2018 The line also is just one of two companies offering regularly scheduled sailings to the North Pole, an epic journey of two weeks onboard the storied Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 Years of Victory. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cruise Lines in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 The app’s incorporation of icebreaker questions and more detailed profiles made her connections feel more substantial. Kari Paul, WSJ, "Tired of Swiping Right, Some Singles Try Slow Dating," 28 Aug. 2018 American spies used it as an icebreaker in foreign countries. Tiffany Hsu, The Seattle Times, "When Sears was everywhere: espionage, politics and fine art," 15 Oct. 2018 The Soviet Union’s first surface ship was an icebreaker. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China Is Planning a Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker," 25 June 2018 An icebreaker powered by nuclear energy would give Beijing access to the Arctic and its resources. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China Is Planning a Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker," 25 June 2018 American icebreaker capability has been declining as other countries rev up. Adam Aton, Scientific American, "U.S. Still Lags Behind in Preparing for a Changing Arctic," 8 June 2018 The icebreaker was in the planning stages for three years and now will take an additional three years to build. Rosemary Mcclure, latimes.com, "Six more Ponant ships to be launched, all equipped with underwater lounges," 26 Mar. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near icebreaker

icebone

icebound

icebox

icebreaker

ice calorimeter

ice candle

ice cap

Statistics for icebreaker

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for icebreaker

The first known use of icebreaker was in 1825

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on icebreaker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with icebreaker

Spanish Central: Translation of icebreaker

Nglish: Translation of icebreaker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about icebreaker

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