Idiom of the Day – Break the Ice

Break the Ice

To establish a relaxed atmosphere in socially awkward situations; to break down a tense or unduly formal atmosphere.

Example Usage: It was an awkward situation until Mary came along and broke the ice.

Alternative wording: Ice-breaker – The teacher introduced a fun activity as an ice-breaker.

Did you know..?  The idiom ‘break the ice’ originated from the use of old ships, known as ice-breakers, which were used to break through ice in polar regions to become aquainted with new areas.  It was later applied to social initiatives which were intended to get strangers aquainted with one another.


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