Break the ice

Definitions

  • The Bear Breaking Free from the Ice
    The Bear Breaking Free from the Ice
  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Break the ice (fig.) to get through first difficulties: Break up, to break open
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Idioms

Break the ice - When you break the ice, you get over any initial embarrassment or shyness when you meet someone for the first time and start conversing.
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. brecan; Ger. brechen.

Usage

In literature:

Impromptu charades are sure to break the ice.
"Social Life" by Maud C. Cooke
The little incident breaks the ice.
"Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)" by William Delisle Hay
I saw the ice break under her when she tried to turn and escape.
"Ruth Fielding at Briarwood Hall" by Alice B. Emerson
Floods were still rising everywhere and the ice on the Dvina began to break up.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume V (of 8)"
The ice bent under his feet and cracked, but he glided on and on, and the ice did not break.
"Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17)" by Various
Within a fortnight the ice will break, and then for almost a month the only way will be impassable.
"Murder Point" by Coningsby Dawson
In this way they tried to break the ice; it was impossible to saw it, for the fissures would close immediately.
"The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Hatteras" by Jules Verne
About the time the ice on their pond began to break up, they would take their youngsters and start upon their summer vacation.
"A Mountain Boyhood" by Joe Mills
Are you beginning yet to break the ice In your wash-pitchers?
"The Daughter of the Storage" by William Dean Howells
The weather was bitterly cold, and there was no immediate prospect of the break-up of the ice.
"Adventurers of the Far North" by Stephen Leacock
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In poetry:

Tho' the biting north wind breaks
Full across this drifted hold,
Let us stand with iced cheeks
Watching westward as of old;
"Sunset" by Archibald Lampman
High, hollowed in green
above the rocks of reason
lies the crater lake
whose ice the dreamer breaks
to find a summer season.
"The Quest" by Denise Levertov
For the white man too rejoices,
Welcoming Spring's herald bird,
When the ice breaks, and the voices
From the rushing streams are heard.
"Legend Of The Canadian Robin" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
Spring comes and the ice is breaking,
Does it break before its time?
Then he knows on God's fair footstool
No shelter there is for crime.
"A Legend Of Buckingham Village" by Nora Pembroke
They break the spell of cold and darkness,
The weary watch of sleepless pain;
And from my heart, as from the river,
The ice of winter melts again.
"The First Flowers" by John Greenleaf Whittier
All passion that the passive marbles make
Imperishable in their shining sleep
Is thine; and all the wan despairs that weep
With tears of ice and crystal, cannot break
"Eidolon" by Clark Ashton Smith

In news:

The break flooded the street with water that quickly turned to ice in the 20 degree temps.
FAIRBANKS—The summer break for hockey season is over for coach Trevor Stewart and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
ANCHORAGE — The Mat-Su Borough's ice-breaking ferry may finally get a job — in the tropics.
Mat -Su's ice-breaking ferry may have a job in the tropics.
To fill the hours until midnight, you might consider organizing some fun activities to break the ice and get the conversations going.
PLUS THE BPO WITH STEFAN JACKIW November 15, 2012 The first American production of any of Michael Tippett's five operas was Sarah Caldwell's The Ice Break for the Opera Company of Boston in 1979.
An iceberg 160 square miles breaks loose to leave one of the world's largest ice shelves hanging by a thread.
Andrew Prochno discovered a unique way to break the ice with a new team following a mid-season trade.
After dinner, conversation at a ministry for the blind evolved into some ice-breaking humor.
Built in 1992, the Palmer is a 7,600-ton icebreaker capable of breaking 3 feet (1 meter) of ice at 3 knots.
Winter Park will hold the ice-breaking ceremony for its holiday ice skating rink at 3 pm Friday, Nov 16 at the rink in.
We break down the four ingredients you need for tasty smoothies (hint: ice isn't one of them).
That's when a youth group there will try to break the record for the world's longest ice cream sundae .
Since beluga whales have no dorsal fins, the tags are implanted in a hard ridge of fatty tissue on their backs the creatures use to break the ice.
Benewah County has hired a tugboat operator to break ice on Lake Coeur dAlene to ease the flood threat in the St Joe River valley.
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In science:

The break in the grain temperature is due to H2O ice sublimation (see also Figure 5).
On the HR 4796A circumstellar disk
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