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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for icicles
Historical Examples
  • Snow fell heavily during the night, and as usual we woke up with icicles hanging from our mustaches, eyelashes, and hair.

    An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet A. Henry Savage Landor
  • His face was blue with cold, and his beard was a frozen mass of icicles.

    The Camp in the Snow William Murray Graydon
  • From each twig of the different boughs, complicated groups of icicles streamed down.

    The Mines and its Wonders W.H.G. Kingston
  • I had icicles hanging from my mustache, eyelashes, and hair.

    An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet A. Henry Savage Landor
  • icicles hung from the trenches—the sentries stamped up and down.

    Australia in Arms Phillip F.E. Schuler
  • Some of them ran after you like dogs; others, damn it, were icicles!

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • She sighed, and turning to her husband said, 'I wish I had as many children as there are icicles hanging there.'

    The Yellow Fairy Book Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
  • icicles hang from the eaves of the rick, and its thatch is covered with snow.

    The Toilers of the Field Richard Jefferies
  • The fingers of these myriad little people were like icicles, and everything that they touched was congealed.

    Shaggycoat Clarence Hawkes
  • The withered grass and the bushes were transformed into a forest of icicles.

    Story of My Life Helen Keller
British Dictionary definitions for icicles


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 icicles



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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