AskDefine | Define icicle

Dictionary Definition

icicle n : a pendent spear of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water

User Contributed Dictionary



is ice + gicel spear (see -icle)


ipacregion Canada


  1. a spear-shape of ice


Extensive Definition

Icicle (yacht) is also the name of the largest Ice yacht
An icicle is a spike of ice formed when water dripping or falling from another object freezes. Typically, icicles will form when ice or snow is melted by either sunlight or some other heat source (such as heat leaking from the interior of a heated building), and the resulting melted water runs off into an area where the ambient temperature is below the freezing point of water (0°C/32°F), causing the water to refreeze. Over time continued water runoff will cause the icicle to grow. If an icicle grows long enough to touch the ground (or its corresponding ice spike growing up from the ground) then it is called an ice column.
Icicles can pose both safety and structural dangers. Ice hanging from buildings may break away and fall and pierce the flesh of pedestrians below or cause damage to other objects below. In addition, ice is relatively heavy and the tendency of icicles to form on overhangs, eaves, and gutters may cause more stress on those structures than they were designed to bear, causing them to break or tear away from the building. Similarly, icicle buildup on trees may cause branches to break.
commons Icicle
icicle in Czech: Rampouch
icicle in German: Eiszapfen
icicle in Italian: Ghiacciolo (meteorologia)
icicle in Dutch: IJspegel
icicle in Japanese: 氷柱
icicle in Low German: Iestappen
icicle in Polish: Sopel
icicle in Russian: Сосулька
icicle in Finnish: Jääpuikko
icicle in Swedish: Istapp
icicle in Chinese: 冰柱

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Dry Ice, berg, calf, cryosphere, firn, floe, frazil, frozen water, glaciation, glacier, glacieret, glaze, glazed frost, granular snow, ground ice, growler, ice, ice banner, ice barrier, ice belt, ice cave, ice cubes, ice dike, ice field, ice floe, ice foot, ice front, ice island, ice needle, ice pack, ice pinnacle, ice raft, ice sheet, iceberg, icefall, icequake, jokul, lolly, neve, nieve penitente, pack ice, serac, shelf ice, sleet, slob, sludge, snow ice, snowberg
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