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

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Other Words from ice


iceless \ ˈīs-​ləs How to pronounce iceless (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, areas south of Medina could see a mix of snow and ice. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Cleveland, ODOT crews gear up to tackle overnight snow, ice," 13 Feb. 2020 The City of Racine has been issuing fines for not removing snow and ice since October. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Make sure your sidewalk is clear. Hundreds of your neighbors have already been fined this winter.," 10 Feb. 2020 In New England, a wintry mix of snow and ice will continue through Friday night. NBC News, "Snow, ice, heavy rain and storms cause East Coast travel trouble," 6 Feb. 2020 Sniffer dogs have been used to scan the avalanche field and help recover the bodies of those buried under the heavy snow and ice. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "At least 41 killed as death toll from Turkey avalanche disaster rises," 6 Feb. 2020 Snow and ice will create dangerous travel conditions in the northern part of the storm. Judson Jones, CNN, "Winter weather alerts stretch over 2,000 miles from New Mexico to Maine," 5 Feb. 2020 Drivers need to clean snow and ice off their car completely before entering the roadways and all windows and mirrors are clear. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Tire socks: What to know about the winter accessory for your car," 28 Jan. 2020 Readers who live in a place that does see cold winter temperatures and snow and ice should still run a dedicated winter tire in those snowy, icy months, both for their own safety, and for that of the drivers around them. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Snow Tires for People Who Don’t Live in Winter," 27 Jan. 2020 The animals, already weakened by insufficient summer grazing, and unable to reach sparse grassland buried under snow and ice, risk starving or freezing to death. The Economist, "Daily chart Mongolia’s deadly winters are becoming more frequent," 25 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Plus neither team will be able to ice the game away with their poor free-throw shooting. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "West Virginia Mountaineers at Baylor Bears college basketball odds, picks and best bets," 15 Feb. 2020 Villanova got the rebound and Robinson-Earl made one of two free throws to ice the game. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Villanova 72, Marquette 71: Markus Howard sets Big East scoring record but frantic comeback falls just short," 12 Feb. 2020 The Leopards cut it to 48-44 with two minutes remaining, but Thomasville’s Shamar Crawford’s hit a deep 3-pointer and then Thomasville iced the game at the line. David Lee, al, "Coastal Sub-Regional Roundup: St. Michael reaches 1st regional with win over Flomaton," 12 Feb. 2020 Khera Goss and sophomore guard Kansas Robinson each connected on four fourth-quarter free throws to ice the game. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "IHSAA girls basketball sectional finals roundup: See which teams hoisted a trophy," 9 Feb. 2020 In overtime, Nayvon Reid put the Boxers up, 61-59, before Todd Robinson nailed a corner 3-pointer to ice the game for the Boxers. Greg Levinsky,, "Central Catholic girls’ basketball team stops Billerica," 2 Feb. 2020 Be careful not to ice people out if someone annoys you. Venus Australis,, "Your February Horoscope," 1 Feb. 2020 Rutgers made another late run and trailed by three with just 24 seconds left to play — but U-M held on, as Simpson and Wagner iced the game from the free-throw line. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball wins crucial Big Ten game over Rutgers, 69-63, at Madison Square Garden," 1 Feb. 2020 Before hitting his game-winning shot to ice the 2016 title for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving spoke with the Lakers legend to get in the right frame of mind. Motez Bishara, CNN, "He was born to play basketball, but for Kobe Bryant that was never enough," 27 Jan. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for ice

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ice

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ice


How to pronounce ICE (audio)

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
US, informal : to make winning or getting (something) certain


\ 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

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Legal Definition of ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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More from Merriam-Webster on ice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ice

Spanish Central: Translation of ice

Nglish: Translation of ice for Spanish Speakers

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

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