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See also: ice-breaker and ice breaker


An icebreaker (1).

Alternative forms[edit]


ice +‎ breaker, in the figurative sense from the expression to break the ice.



icebreaker (plural icebreakers)

  1. A ship designed to break through ice so that it, or other ships coming behind, can navigate on frozen seas.
    Coordinate term: slushbreaker
    The steel hulls of ice-breakers are much thicker than those of standard vessels.
    • 2004, Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home [] , Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 11:
      My father's Bonneville was cutting its way toward us like an icebreaker moving through my whole state of consciousness.
  2. (figurative) A game, activity, humorous anecdote, etc., designed to relax a group of people to help them get to know each other.
    The new college hallmates were awkward with each other at first, but after a game of charades as an icebreaker, they were laughing like old friends.
    • 2011, Elaine Biech, chapter 11, in The Book of Road-Tested Activities, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN:
      The key purpose of an icebreaker is to introduce your group members to each other and to introduce your training session topic. A well-planned icebreaker ensures that a training session will start with more involvement and focus.
  3. (theater) A lively song and dance routine at the start of a musical.
    • 2014, Maggie Davis, Stage Door Canteen:
      At the moment the curtain went up there had to be a lively ensemble number of principals and chorus singing and dancing, the traditional “icebreaker” that also covered up the noise of late-arriving ticket holders getting to their seats.

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