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Icicles descending from a tree branch


From Middle English isykle, isikel, from Old English īsġicel, from Proto-West Germanic *īsajikil, *īsajekul, equivalent to ice +‎ ickle. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Iesjuukel (icicle), German Low German Iesjökel, dialectal Danish jisegel (icicle), Norwegian isjukel (icicle) and Elfdalian aisikkel.


  • (Canada) IPA(key): /ˈʌɪsəkəl/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈaɪs.ɪkl̩/, /ˈaɪ.sɪ.kl̩/
  • (file)


icicle (plural icicles)

  1. A drooping, tapering shape of ice.
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i], page 167:
      Mor. Miſlike me not for my complexion, / The ſhadowed liuerie of the burniſht ſunne, / To whom I am a neighbour,and neere bred. / Bring me the faireſt creature North-ward borne, / Where Phœbus fire ſcarce thawes the yſicles, / And let vs make inciſion for your loue, / To proue whoſe blood is reddeſt,his or mine.
    • 2021 February 24, “Network News: NR takes pride in track teams as effects of Storm Darcy repelled...”, in RAIL, number 925, page 13:
      Several days of sub-zero temperatures caused icicles up to 1.5 metres long to form in tunnels across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

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