from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Water frozen solid.
  • noun A surface, layer, or mass of frozen water.
  • noun Something resembling frozen water.
  • noun A frozen dessert consisting of water, sugar, and a liquid flavoring, often fruit juice.
  • noun Cake frosting; icing.
  • noun Slang Diamonds.
  • noun Sports The playing field in ice hockey; the rink.
  • noun Extreme unfriendliness or reserve.
  • noun Slang A payment over the listed price of a ticket for a public event.
  • noun Slang Methamphetamine.
  • intransitive verb To coat or slick with solidly frozen water.
  • intransitive verb To cause to become ice; freeze.
  • intransitive verb To chill by setting in or as if in ice.
  • intransitive verb To cover or decorate (a cake, for example) with a sugar coating.
  • intransitive verb Slang To ensure of victory, as in a game; clinch.
  • intransitive verb Sports To shoot (the puck) from one's defensive half of an ice hockey rink across the opponent's goal line outside of the goal.
  • intransitive verb Slang To kill; murder.
  • intransitive verb To turn into or become coated with ice; freeze.
  • idiom (on ice) Assured of attainment or success.
  • idiom (on ice) In reserve or readiness.
  • idiom (on ice) Away from public notice or activity.
  • idiom (on thin ice) In a precarious position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cover with ice; convert into ice; freeze.
  • To apply ice to; refrigerate; preserve in ice, as meat.
  • To cover with concreted sugar; frost.
  • A particular form (including the stem-vowel -i-) of the termination -ce, of Latin origin, as in avarice, justice, malice, notice, service, novice, etc.; also in words of later formation, as in cowardice. In practice the termination is historically a feminine form of -ic.
  • noun The solid form of water, produced by freezing.
  • noun Same as icing.
  • noun A frozen confection consisting
  • noun of sweetened and flavored cream, milk, or custard (cream-ice, ice-cream), or
  • noun of the sweetened juice of various fruits (water-ice).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cover with ice; to convert into ice, or into something resembling ice.
  • transitive verb To cover with icing, or frosting made of sugar and milk or white of egg; to frost, as cakes, tarts, etc.
  • transitive verb To chill or cool, as with ice; to freeze.
  • noun Water or other fluid frozen or reduced to the solid state by cold; frozen water. It is a white or transparent colorless substance, crystalline, brittle, and viscoidal. Its specific gravity (0.92, that of water at 4° C. being 1.0) being less than that of water, ice floats.
  • noun Concreted sugar.
  • noun Water, cream, custard, etc., sweetened, flavored, and artificially frozen.
  • noun Any substance having the appearance of ice.
  • noun ice which sometimes forms about stones and other objects at the bottom of running or other water, and is thus attached or anchored to the ground.
  • noun ice formed in bays, fiords, etc., often in extensive fields which drift out to sea.
  • noun anchor ice.
  • noun (Geol.) the glacial epoch or period. See under Glacial.
  • noun (Naut.) a grapnel for mooring a vessel to a field of ice.
  • noun a streak of whiteness of the horizon, caused by the reflection of light from ice not yet in sight.
  • noun A strong steamboat for breaking a channel through ice.
  • noun a box for holding ice; a box in which things are kept cool by means of ice; a refrigerator.
  • noun [Poetic] a brook or stream as cold as ice.
  • noun cream, milk, or custard, sweetened, flavored, and frozen.
  • noun an extensive sheet of ice.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English is, from Old English īs.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English is, from Old English īs, from Proto-Germanic *īsan (compare West Frisian iis, Dutch ijs, Low Saxon (Low German) Ies, German Eis, Danish and Swedish is), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eiH- (compare Lithuanian ýnis ("glazed frost"), Russian иней (ínej, "hoarfrost"), Ossetian их (ix), ех (ex, "ice"), Persian یخ (yax)).


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word ice.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • As a verb, to put an end to or kill off.

    "James hit a driving layup in the second overtime with 26 seconds left and added a pair of free throws with 14 seconds to play which iced the game" - Vancouver Sun, 1-10-08

    January 11, 2008

  • "Ice was also finally beginning to be used as a preservative. In 1785, Alexander Dalrymple of the East India Company described the ancient Chinese practice of packing fresh fish in ice and the penny dropped. His friend George Dempster passed the information on to his Scottish fish merchant; the Scottish fishing industry was transformed, and fresh salmon was despatched countrywide, safely and without the need for salt or pickle."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 270

    (this was about 1812--no specific date given)

    January 18, 2017