break the ice

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

By application of the metaphor that strangers are socially separated by ice.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

break the ice (third-person singular simple present breaks the ice, present participle breaking the ice, simple past broke the ice, past participle broken the ice)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see break,‎ the,‎ ice.
  2. (idiomatic) To start to get to know people, by avoiding social awkwardness and formality.
    Including a few fun details in large group introductions can be a great way to break the ice.
  3. (idiomatic) To introduce conversation.
  4. To surmount initial difficulties; to overcome obstacles and make a beginning.

Coordinate terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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