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icicle

[ahy-si-kuh l]
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noun
  1. a pendent, tapering mass of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water.
  2. a thin strip of paper, plastic, or foil, usually silvery, for hanging on a Christmas tree as decoration.
  3. a cold, unemotional person.
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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 formsi·ci·cled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for icicles

Historical Examples

  • From this cupola thousands of icicles of the most varied shapes were hanging.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • It changes too suddenly, and the icicles are cutting my face.

  • Freezing up and talking as if you had a mouthful of icicles.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • His face was blue with cold, and his beard was a frozen mass of icicles.

    The Camp in the Snow

    William Murray Graydon

  • I had icicles hanging from my mustache, eyelashes, and hair.

    An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet

    A. Henry Savage Landor


British Dictionary definitions for icicles

icicle

noun
  1. a hanging spike of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water
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Derived Formsicicled, 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

Word Origin and History for icicles

icicle

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper