[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. ichthyosis uteri,
  2. ichthyosis vulgaris,
  3. ichthyotic,
  4. ichthyotoxism,
  5. ici,
  6. icily,
  7. iciness,
  8. icing,
  9. icing on the cake,
  10. icing sugar

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for icicle

British Dictionary definitions for icicle


/ (ˈaɪsɪkəl) /


a hanging spike of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water
Derived Formsicicled, adjective

Word Origin for icicle

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 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