icicle

noun
ici·​cle | \ ˈī-ˌsi-kəl How to pronounce icicle (audio) \

Definition of icicle

1 : a pendent mass of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water
2 : an emotionally cold person
3 : a long narrow strip (as of foil) used to decorate a Christmas tree

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Did You Know?

Old English gicel, meaning icicle, became Middle English ikyl or ikel and later modern English ickle, which survives as a dialect word in Yorkshire, England. The word for ice in Old English is is, and in a manuscript of about the year 1000 we find Latin stiria, “icicle,” glossed, somewhat redundantly, as ises gicel, that is, “an icicle of ice.” Some 300 years later, in Middle English, this became the compound known today as icicle, which means precisely what it did 1000 years ago.

Examples of icicle in a Sentence

his wife is such an icicle you're lucky to get so much as a greeting from her

Recent Examples on the Web

This process results in rusticles, fragile rust formations which resemble icicles. Gina Martinez, Time, "Divers Visited the Titanic's Wreck for the First Time in over a Decade. Here's Why They Were Shocked by the Ship's Condition," 22 Aug. 2019 The winning color: an icy, pale blue that conjures images of icicles and crisp winter days, aptly named Frozen. Elizabeth Mayhew, Twin Cities, "Surfboard Yellow, Gentleman’s Gray, Mizzle: How do paint companies name their hues?," 6 July 2019 The environment continues to play an important role as perceptive players can use fuel lines and icicles to their advantage and each encounter seems to have an optimal solution. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Gears of War 5’ uses past to set path for its future," 6 Sep. 2019 But this is a slasher movie, so of course Helena runs afoul of the killer, who takes her out with a handy icicle. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "First trailer for latest Black Christmas slasher reboot goes for “woke”," 5 Sep. 2019 The winning color: an icy, pale blue that conjures images of icicles and crisp winter days, aptly named Frozen. Elizabeth Mayhew, Twin Cities, "Surfboard Yellow, Gentleman’s Gray, Mizzle: How do paint companies name their hues?," 6 July 2019 The winning color: an icy, pale blue that conjures images of icicles and crisp winter days, aptly named Frozen. Elizabeth Mayhew, Twin Cities, "Surfboard Yellow, Gentleman’s Gray, Mizzle: How do paint companies name their hues?," 6 July 2019 The winning color: an icy, pale blue that conjures images of icicles and crisp winter days, aptly named Frozen. Elizabeth Mayhew, Twin Cities, "Surfboard Yellow, Gentleman’s Gray, Mizzle: How do paint companies name their hues?," 6 July 2019 In the viewfinder, the neons are beaming, focused properly, faux icicles hanging over the letters. Michelle Tea, Harper's magazine, "Stonewall at Fifty," 22 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for icicle

Middle English isikel, from is ice + ikel icicle, from Old English gicel; akin to Old High German ihilla icicle, Middle Irish aig ice

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Dictionary Entries near icicle

ichu

-ician

icica

icicle

icing

icing on the cake

icing station

Statistics for icicle

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for icicle

The first known use of icicle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for icicle

icicle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of icicle

: a hanging piece of ice formed when water freezes as it drips down from something (such as a roof)

icicle

noun
ici·​cle | \ ˈī-ˌsi-kəl How to pronounce icicle (audio) \

Kids Definition of icicle

: a hanging piece of ice formed from dripping water as it freezes

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More from Merriam-Webster on icicle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with icicle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for icicle

Spanish Central: Translation of icicle

Nglish: Translation of icicle for Spanish Speakers

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