1. a sweet, creamy spread, as of confectioners’ sugar, butter, and flavoring, for covering cakes, cookies, etc.; frosting.
  2. Meteorology. a coating of ice on a solid object.Compare glaze, rime1.
  3. Aviation. the freezing of atmospheric moisture on the surface of an aircraft.
  4. Ice Hockey. the act of a player shooting the puck from the defensive half of the rink over the opponent’s goal line, but not into the goal, as a defensive maneuver to keep the puck out of the reach of attacking opponents, resulting in a penalty against the defensive team if the puck is then next touched by an opponent other than the goalkeeper.

  1. icing on the cake. frosting(def 5).


  1. the solid form of water, produced by freezing; frozen water.
  2. the frozen surface of a body of water.
  3. any substance resembling frozen water: camphor ice.
  4. a frozen dessert made of sweetened water and fruit juice.
  5. British. ice cream.
  6. icing, as on a cake.
  7. reserve; formality: The ice of his manner betrayed his dislike of the new ambassador.
  8. Slang.
    1. a diamond or diamonds.
    2. protection money paid to the police by the operator of an illicit business.
    3. a fee that a ticket broker pays to a theater manager in order to receive a favorable allotment of tickets.

verb (used with object), iced, ic·ing.

  1. to cover with ice.
  2. to change into ice; freeze.
  3. to cool with ice, as a drink.
  4. to cover (cake, sweet rolls, etc.) with icing; frost.
  5. to refrigerate with ice, as air.
  6. to make cold, as if with ice.
  7. to preserve by placing on ice.
  8. Ice Hockey. (especially in Canada) to put (a team) into formal play.
  9. Slang.
    1. to settle or seal; make sure of, as by signing a contract: We’ll ice the deal tomorrow.
    2. to make (a business arrangement) more attractive by adding features or benefits: The star pitcher wouldn’t sign his new contract until the team iced it with a big bonus.
    3. to kill, especially to murder: The mobsters threatened to ice him if he went to the police.
  10. Sports Slang. to establish a winning score or insurmountable lead in or otherwise assure victory in (a game or contest): Her second goal iced the game.

verb (used without object), iced, ic·ing.

  1. to change to ice; freeze: The sherbet is icing in the refrigerator.
  2. to be coated with ice (often followed by up): The windshield has iced up.


  1. of or made of ice: ice shavings; an ice sculpture.
  2. for holding ice and food or drink to be chilled: an ice bucket; an ice chest.
  3. on or done on the ice: ice yachting.

  1. break the ice,
    1. to succeed initially; make a beginning.
    2. to overcome reserve, awkwardness, or formality within a group, as in introducing persons: The chairman broke the ice with his warm and very amusing remarks.
  2. cut no ice, Informal. to have no influence or importance; fail to impress: Her father’s position cuts no ice with me.
  3. ice it, Slang. stop it; that’s enough: You’ve been complaining all day, so ice it.
  4. ice the puck, Ice Hockey. to hit the puck to the far end of the rink, especially from the defensive area across the offensive area.
  5. on ice, Informal.
    1. with a good chance of success or realization: Now that the contract is on ice we can begin operating again.
    2. out of activity, as in confinement or imprisonment.
    3. in a state of abeyance or readiness: Let’s put that topic on ice for the moment.
  6. on thin ice, in a precarious or delicate situation: You may pass the course, but you’re on thin ice right now.Also skating on thin ice.


  1. Also called (esp US and Canadian): frosting a sugar preparation, variously flavoured and coloured, for coating and decorating cakes, biscuits, etc
  2. the formation of ice, as on a ship or aircraft, due to the freezing of moisture in the atmosphere
  3. any unexpected extra or bonus (esp in icing on the cake)


  1. water in the solid state, formed by freezing liquid waterRelated adjective: glacial
  2. a portion of ice cream
  3. slang a diamond or diamonds
  4. the field of play in ice hockey
  5. slang a concentrated and highly potent form of methamphetamine with dangerous side effects
  6. break the ice
    1. to relieve shyness, etc, esp between strangers
    2. to be the first of a group to do something
  7. cut no ice informal to fail to make an impression
  8. on ice in abeyance; pending
  9. on thin ice unsafe or unsafely; vulnerable or vulnerably
  10. the Ice NZ informal Antarctica


  1. (often foll by up, over, etc) to form or cause to form ice; freeze
  2. (tr) to mix with ice or chill (a drink, etc)
  3. (tr) to cover (a cake, etc) with icing
  4. (tr) US slang to kill
  5. mainly Canadian (in ice hockey)
    1. to shoot the puck from one end of the rink to the other
    2. to select which players will play in a game

abbreviation for (in Britain)

  1. Institution of Civil Engineers

1769 in the confectionary sense, verbal noun of ice (v.). Earlier in this sense was simple ice (1723). Meaning “process of becoming covered with ice” is from 1881.


Old English is “ice” (also the name of the rune for -i-), from Proto-Germanic *isa- (cf. Old Norse iss, Old Frisian is, Dutch ijs, German Eis), with no certain cognates beyond Germanic, though possible relatives are Avestan aexa- “frost, ice,” isu- “frosty, icy;” Afghan asai “frost.” Slang meaning “diamonds” is attested from 1906.

Ice cube attested from 1904. Ice age attested from 1832. To break the ice “to make the first opening to any attempt” is from 1580s, metaphoric of making passages for boats by breaking up river ice though in modern use usually with implications of “cold reserve.”


c.1400, ysen, “cover with ice,” from ice (n.). Related: Iced; icing.

  1. A solid consisting of frozen water. Ice forms at or below a temperature of 0°C (32°F). Ice expands during the process of freezing, with the result that its density is lower than that of water.
  2. A solid form of a substance, especially of a substance that is a liquid or a gas at room temperature at sea level on Earth. The nuclei of many comets contain methane ice.

see break the ice; cut no ice; on ice; on thin ice; put on ice; tip of the iceberg.

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