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


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

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Other Words from ice


iceless \ ˈīs-​ləs How to pronounce iceless (audio) \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Iceland, despite its name, is not a land of ice. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Philippines’ Duterte on Iceland’s criticism of his drug war: ‘They just go about eating ice'," 12 July 2019 Most of that ice has melted over the past three years. Fox News, "'World's most dangerous glacier' could cause catastrophic sea level rise, study warns," 10 July 2019 With a telescope, viewers will probably get a nice peek at Saturn’s famous rings, which are made of rock, dust and particles of ice. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Saturn and its rings will be visible tonight; here’s when and where to watch," 9 July 2019 Just before lunch Queen Elizabeth reportedly has her first cocktail of the day, a gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice, according to Darren McGrady, a former royal chef. Stephanie Petit,, "Queen Elizabeth Just Revealed She Doesn't Drink Wine (She Has Another Drink of Choice!)," 9 July 2019 Since 1850, the plant lay frozen under a 100-foot-thick slab of ice as humans discovered antibiotics, visited the moon, and burned 2 trillion tons of fossil fuels. Daniel Ackerman,, "Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost," 7 July 2019 Europa is covered by a sheet of ice, and there may be an ocean of liquid water beneath it, or at least a slushy ocean. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: Jupiter and its many moons put on a show this week," 7 July 2019 Later, the Lunar Prospector in 1999 orbited the moon, confirming Clementine’s discovery of ice at the lunar poles. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "A brief history of moon exploration," 5 July 2019 Other researchers say the shifting levels of sea ice could represent natural climate patterns. NBC News, "Antarctic sea ice is shrinking rapidly after decades of growth. Scientists aren't sure why.," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Thai-style tea and iced coffee available, plus other sweet drinks. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Some of metro Detroit's best Thai food served at Warren temple," 12 July 2019 The provisions reportedly included bread, beans, beef, 600 pounds of sugar, and 880 gallons of iced tea. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "This Charming South Carolina Town is Known as The Birthplace of Sweet Tea," 21 June 2019 For the takeout and delivery crowd, solid options (and strawberry iced tea) abound from Captain Hooks, a hole-in-the-wall just north of the Temple campus in North Philly. Michael Klein,, "Seafood ideas in Philly, without shelling out," 15 Feb. 2018 Her major weakness, however, is iced tea and the sweetener Equal. Vogue, "5 Things You Didn’t Know About Kim Kardashian West," 10 Apr. 2019 The lemon tea was polarizing; some of tasters enjoyed it as a mellower take on iced tea, while others didn’t care for it. Sunset, "Our Favorite Sparkling CBD Drinks Are Relaxation in a Can," 22 Jan. 2018 On the night of his 27th birthday, Heaney iced the Royals more than once. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals are one-hit by Andrew Heaney in second straight loss to Angels," 5 June 2018 But Davis iced the game away in the final seconds the way superstars are supposed to on the biggest stage. William Guillory,, "Anthony Davis feels unburdened after earning first career playoff win," 15 Apr. 2018 As any doughnut lover knows, happiness is chocolate-iced, custard-filled, or apple frittered deliciousness. Southern Living, "You're Going to Love Krispy Kreme's St. Patrick's Day Doughnuts," 12 Mar. 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.

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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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Learn More about ice

Dictionary Entries near ice







ice age

Statistics for ice

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ice

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

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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
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


something desired as essential

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