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[ahy-si-kuh l] /ˈaɪ sɪ kəl/
a pendent, tapering mass of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water.
a thin strip of paper, plastic, or foil, usually silvery, for hanging on a Christmas tree as decoration.
a cold, unemotional person.
Origin of icicle
before 1000; Middle English isikel, Old English īsgicel, equivalent to īs ice + gicel icicle; akin to Old Norse jǫkul mass of ice, glacier
Related forms
icicled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for icicle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An icicle hanging on one's nose is a simple sort of humour in any case.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • I have seen a great army thaw away like an icicle in the sunshine.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Jed was conscious of a cold sensation, like the touch of an icicle, up and down his spine.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Thou art hot-tempered and boyish, but I am cold as an icicle.

    In the Days of Drake J. S. Fletcher
  • He doesn't say for how long, and acts the icicle in the presence of others.

  • "I hope you had a pleasant stroll this afternoon," came in icicle tones.

    An American Suffragette Isaac N. Stevens
  • For a little he gazed at him in silence, and his look might have turned a sunbeam to an icicle.

    A Book of Myths Jean Lang
  • Whenever I open my mouth it feels as if some one had stuffed an icicle in.

    The Young Treasure Hunter Frank V. Webster
British Dictionary definitions for icicle


a hanging spike of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water
Derived Forms
icicled, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from ice + ickel, from Old English gicel icicle, related to Old Norse jökull large piece of ice, glacier
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for icicle

early 14c., isykle, from is "ice" + ikel "icicle," from Old English gicel "icicle, ice" (rel. to cylegicel "cold ice"), from Proto-Germanic *jekilaz (cf. Old Norse jaki "piece of ice," diminutive jökull "icicle, ice, glacier;" Old High German ihilla "icicle"), from PIE *yeg- "ice." Dialectal ickle "icicle" survived into 20c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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