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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Idioms about ice

Origin of ice

before 900; 1905–10 for def. 8a; Middle English, Old English īs; cognate with German Eis,Old Norse īss


iceless, adjectiveicelike, adjectivere·ice, verb, re·iced, re·ic·ing.un·ice, verb (used with object), un·iced, un·ic·ing.

Other definitions for ice (2 of 4)

[ ahys ]
/ aɪs /

Immigration and Customs Enforcement: a federal agency tasked with interior enforcement of U.S. customs and immigration laws, including cross-border investigations of criminal activity, and the arrest, detention, and removal of undocumented aliens.
in case of emergency: (usually designating an emergency-contact phone number in one's cell phone contact list): The paramedic found my mom's ICE number immediately.

Other definitions for ice (3 of 4)


a suffix of nouns, indicating state or quality, appearing in loanwords from French: notice.

Origin of -ice

Middle English -ice, -ise<Old French <Latin -itius, -itia, -itium abstract noun suffix

Other definitions for ice (4 of 4)


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does ICE mean?

ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Where does ICE come from?

ICE was created after the passage of the United States Homeland Security Act. The act, a congressional move made in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, spelled out the creation of a new federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security. Underneath the Homeland Security umbrella were a number of new agencies, including US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE, which was formed in March 2003.

ICE agents are officially charged with immigration enforcement, investigating illegal movement of people and goods, and preventing terrorism. As part of that mission, ICE performs Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), the term the agency uses to describe its removal of individuals from the United States who have been ordered to be deported.

ICE is not the same as the United States Border Patrol (USBP), but the two agencies do work together.

How is ICE used in real life?

Like many federal agencies (cf. NASA, FDA, CDC), the Immigration and Customs Enforcement is commonly referred to in its acronym form, ICE.

In the 2010–20s, the role of ICE in enforcing U.S. immigration policy has often been a source of dispute. For example, there have been calls to abolish ICE after the Trump administration was seen to deploy the agency aggressively to detain or deport migrants

More examples of ICE:

“Two sisters from El Salvador, ages 8 and 11, in U.S. government custody had just been approved for reunification with their Houston-based mom, when ICE stepped in and moved to deport them … ICE said its agents would only focus on detaining ‘public safety risks,’ as well as immigrants whose criminal records require the agency to apprehend them.”
—Graham Kates & Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, May 2020


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use ice in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ice (1 of 3)

/ (aɪs) /


Derived forms of ice

iceless, adjectiveicelike, adjective

Word Origin for ice

Old English īs; compare Old High German īs, Old Norse īss

British Dictionary definitions for ice (2 of 3)


abbreviation for (in Britain)
Institution of Civil Engineers

British Dictionary definitions for ice (3 of 3)


abbreviation for
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

Scientific definitions for ice

[ īs ]

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.
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with ice


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

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.