AskDefine | Define icicles

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

icicles
  1. Plural of icicle

Extensive Definition

Icicle (yacht) is also the name of the largest Ice yacht
An icicle is a spike of ice formed when water dripping or falling from another object freezes. Typically, icicles will form when ice or snow is melted by either sunlight or some other heat source (such as heat leaking from the interior of a heated building), and the resulting melted water runs off into an area where the ambient temperature is below the freezing point of water (0°C/32°F), causing the water to refreeze. Over time continued water runoff will cause the icicle to grow. If an icicle grows long enough to touch the ground (or its corresponding ice spike growing up from the ground) then it is called an ice column.
Icicles can pose both safety and structural dangers. Ice hanging from buildings may break away and fall and pierce the flesh of pedestrians below or cause damage to other objects below. In addition, ice is relatively heavy and the tendency of icicles to form on overhangs, eaves, and gutters may cause more stress on those structures than they were designed to bear, causing them to break or tear away from the building. Similarly, icicle buildup on trees may cause branches to break.
commons Icicle
icicles in Czech: Rampouch
icicles in German: Eiszapfen
icicles in Italian: Ghiacciolo (meteorologia)
icicles in Dutch: IJspegel
icicles in Japanese: 氷柱
icicles in Low German: Iestappen
icicles in Polish: Sopel
icicles in Russian: Сосулька
icicles in Finnish: Jääpuikko
icicles in Swedish: Istapp
icicles in Chinese: 冰柱
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