an insulated cabinet or chest with a partition for ice, used for preserving or cooling food, beverages, etc.
Older Use. an electric or gas refrigerator.
Nautical. an enclosed area in the bottom of a vessel through which sea water can be pumped up for use in the condenser in icy waters.
Slang. an isolation cell in a prison.

Origin of icebox

First recorded in 1830–40; ice + box1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for icebox

Historical Examples of icebox

  • He told Thea there were a few roses left in the icebox and he would get one.

    Song of the Lark

    Willa Cather

  • I have half a cold chicken in the icebox and a bottle of beer.

    A Top-Floor Idyl

    George van Schaick

  • Said 'he was as cool as an icebox during the whole engagement.'

  • You see, even this icebox seems like a friend after my experience in the States.

    The Alaskan

    James Oliver Curwood

  • The teachers got icebox, stove, and piano from a second-hand store.

    Across the Fruited Plain

    Florence Crannell Means

British Dictionary definitions for icebox



a compartment in a refrigerator for storing or making ice
an insulated cabinet packed with ice for storing food
US and Canadian a refrigerator
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 icebox

also ice-box, 1839, from ice (n.) + box (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper