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[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.
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 forms
icicled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for icicles
  • As the hot steam condenses on the edges, it refreezes and forms icicles.
  • Show us icicles dripping from ruby red noses, glacial ice-scapes and huddled figures trudging through the snow.
  • Come winter, he might be soldering icicles into glittering loops or star bursts with his bare fingers.
  • He made her practise in the cold until icicles formed in her hair.
  • My empty stocking dangled above the space heater from a clothesline shimmering with silver icicles.
  • Drifts piled high in bleak ravines, and the grim gneissoid crags were begirt with gigantic icicles.
  • The only flowers are the icicles on the eaves and the beads on each twig.
  • The inner walls, scalloped by steam and flowing water, were hung with icicles.
  • My first attempt at the sport took place below a rounded rocky ledge, dripping with ten-foot long icicles.
  • Snow quilts the city and icicles bejewel church steeples for months.
British Dictionary definitions for icicles


a hanging spike of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water
Derived Forms
icicled, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for icicles



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
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