from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tapering spike of ice formed by the freezing of dripping or falling water.
  • n. Informal An aloof or emotionally unresponsive person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spear-shape of ice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pendent, and usually conical, mass of ice, formed by freezing of dripping water.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pendent mass of ice tapering downward to a point, formed by the freezing of drops of water or other liquid flowing down from the place of attachment.
  • n. In heraldry, same as goutte or drop, but reversed, with the point downward. Compare gutté reversed, under gutté.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. ice resembling a pendent spear, formed by the freezing of dripping water


Middle English isikel : is, ice; see ice + ikel, icicle (from Old English gicel; see yeg- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English isykle, isikel, equivalent to ice +‎ ickle. Cognate with Low German Isjäkel, Ishekel ("icicle"), Dutch ijskegel ("icicle"), Danish dialectal jisegel ("icicle"), Norwegian isjukel ("icicle"). More at ice, ickle. (Wiktionary)



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  • Eavesdropper? (crossword puzzle clue/answer)

    April 20, 2013

  • "What importance do they attach to?", in the odd shorthand of railroad telegraphy. --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 24, 2013

  • IMO, "icicle" has the best set of alternate spellings I know of. Check out its etymological entry on this site. Not all the forms listed there are English, but almost all of them are recognizably the same word.

    June 10, 2009

  • I like this word. It's all prickly-beautiful.

    February 24, 2009