pack ice


a large area of floating ice formed over a period of many years and consisting of pieces of ice driven together by wind, current, etc.

Origin of pack ice

First recorded in 1840–50
Also called ice pack. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pack ice

Historical Examples of pack ice

  • "We'll carry on till we are above the end of the pack-ice," said Whittinghame.

    The Dreadnought of the Air

    Percy F. Westerman

  • It seems probable that he charted as land the limits of the pack-ice in 1840.

  • The crab-eater seal, a smaller animal, lives mostly on the pack-ice.

  • The southern shores were walled with pack-ice for a hundred miles or more.

    My Attainment of the Pole

    Frederick A. Cook

  • At the edge of the pack-ice during the first half of April 1916, about lat.


    Sir Ernest Shackleton

British Dictionary definitions for pack ice

pack ice


a large area of floating ice, usually occurring in polar seas, consisting of separate pieces that have become massed togetherAlso called: ice pack
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

pack ice in Science

pack ice


The floating sea-ice cover of the polar regions. Driven by winds and ocean currents, pack ice is a mixture of ice fragments of varying size and age that are squeezed together and cover the sea surface with little or no open water. At maximum expansion during the winter, pack ice covers about five percent of Arctic waters and about eight percent of Antarctic waters.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.