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Icicles descending from a tree branch


From Middle English isykle, isikel; equivalent to ice +‎ ickle. Cognate with 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, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [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.

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