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[ahys-boks] /ˈaɪsˌbɒks/
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
1830-40; ice + box1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for icebox
Historical Examples
  • He never saw him and he would run to the bathroom and go to the icebox and get some ice, and didn't like that.

    Warren Commission (6 of 26): Hearings Vol. VI (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Said 'he was as cool as an icebox during the whole engagement.'

  • Mrs. Ray watched them curiously as together they left the room to see his catch properly stored in the icebox.

    A Soldier's Trial Charles King
  • You see, even this icebox seems like a friend after my experience in the States.

    The Alaskan James Oliver Curwood
  • Ice cream and milk kept too long are frequent causes of this sort of poisoning, as are dishes kept in the icebox over night.

    Military Instructors Manual James P. Cole and Oliver Schoonmaker
  • The teachers got icebox, stove, and piano from a second-hand store.

    Across the Fruited Plain Florence Crannell Means
  • I rummaged in the icebox, and found a bottle of cream hidden away at the back.

    Life and Gabriella Ellen Glasgow
  • He stowed me away in a corner behind the icebox and in that corner I remained for the rest of the evening.

    An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody) Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)
  • He told Thea there were a few roses left in the icebox and he would get one.

    Song of the Lark Willa Cather
  • "Let's have the sarsaparilla," he whispered in Dot's ear, as the generous woman bustled away to the icebox.

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 & 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
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Word Origin and History for icebox

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for icebox



  1. A solitary confinement cell; the HOLE: When a prisoner is sent to the ''icebox'' (1920s+ Prison)
  2. A prison (1920s+ Prison)
  3. The imagined place where persons and things are held in reserve; on the back burner: I got a left-hander in the icebox (1940s+)
  4. A very cold place: This building's an icebox (1940s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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