break the ice


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break the ice

To do something as a means of reducing or eliminating shyness, awkward tension, or unfamiliarity. I was so nervous about meeting Samantha's parents for the first time, but her dad immediately broke the ice by asking about my car, and everything went great after that. Everyone was deathly silent after John went ballistic and left the meeting. I tried breaking the ice with a joke, but it didn't help.
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break the ice

 
1. Fig. to attempt to become friends with someone. He tried to break the ice, but she was a little cold. A nice smile does a lot to break the ice.
2. Fig. to initiate social interchanges and conversation; to get something started. It's hard to break the ice at formal events. Sally broke the ice at the auction by bidding $20,000 for the painting.
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break the ice

1. Make a start, pave the way, as in Newton's theories broke the ice for modern physics. This idiom alludes to breaking ice in a channel so that a ship can pass. [Early 1600s] Also see break ground.
2. Relax a tense or very formal situation, as in Someone at the conference table will have to break the ice. [Early 1600s]
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break the ice

COMMON If a person, event or activity breaks the ice, they make people feel more relaxed and comfortable in a social situation. This exercise is usually good fun and can help break the ice for a new, and perhaps rather anxious, group. I started off by remarking that it seemed natural to be back in Madison Square Garden again. That broke the ice and from then on all went well. Note: An ice-breaker is something that you say or do to break the ice. This presentation was a good ice-breaker. A few laughs go a long way toward making a potential client comfortable. Note: An ice-breaking comment or action is one that breaks the ice. Graham's breakfast-time phone call to David was an ice-breaking exercise. Note: This refers to the need to break the ice around a ship before it is able to sail.
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break the ice

do or say something to relieve tension or get conversation started at the start of a party or when people meet for the first time.
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ˌbreak the ˈice

make a social situation more informal and relaxed, especially at the beginning of a meeting, party, etc: If you serve drinks as soon as they arrive it will help to break the ice. ▶ an ˈice-breaker noun: James told a very funny joke, which was a good ice-breaker.
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break the ice

1. tv. to be the first one to do something. No one wants to break the ice. I guess I will be first.
2. tv. to attempt to become friends with someone. A nice smile does a lot to break the ice.
See also: break, ice

break the ice

1. To make a start.
2. To relax a tense or unduly formal atmosphere or social situation.
See also: break, ice

break the ice, to

To prepare the way; to overcome initial stiffness or reserve in a social setting. The expression comes from clearing the ice from the sea so that ships could pass, and indeed the special vessels still used for this purpose are called “icebreakers.” By the sixteenth century, however, the term was used figuratively, as it is today, and was listed in Erasmus’s collection of adages (1508). Shakespeare and many others have used it, and there are similar phrases in numerous languages.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Break The Ice" was written by Ari B and produced by Ric Poulin at Bristol Studios.
But due to the frozen wet-lands in valley as it becomes difficult for them to find food for themselves, sensing the situations the wild-life authorities have started a drive to break the ice in the important circles of the wetlands in of Hokersar.
"It took me so long to break the ice I only had time to set up one rig, but luckily I caught all day," said Jon, who drew peg 135 at Coseley.
Before any managed care contracts can be considered, much less signed, what must nursing homes do to break the ice with these unfamiliar business entities?
(They have 12 weeks to do so, and the time frame is a real-world problem in itself.) Moreover, students find that talking about their projects is an excellent way to break the ice at job interviews-- and demonstrate their problem-solving ability to a potential employer.
'I've done my job to break the ice and to help restore the ties of goodwill and friendship (between China and the Philippines),' Ramos said in an interview with a television crew.
"And the only way to break the ice and get rid of all that nervous energy is humour.
In his homily during Mass held Thursday at the patriarchal seat in Bkirky, in the presence of a crowd of believers, the head of the Maronite Church urged political parties to maintain dialogue, consolidate stability, eliminate tension and break the ice between various factions.
Baghdad (NINA) - Motahidoun Alliance, headed by Usama al-Nijaifi, said that today's meeting of the leaders of political blocs, under the patronage of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), represents a positive step to break the ice accumulated between various blocs.
Any tips on how I can break the ice? I don't know if she's dating anyone - she's always on her own.
Nick Wilson, from St Athan, had to break the ice before he could cast out a line at Warren Mill and then he had to endure a snowstorm as he landed two carp weighing 9lb, one of 14lb and a 17lb beauty.
Some reckless teens have even been seen trying to break the ice using large logs and branches.
If R and D Ryan think the pool at Byker is cold, they should try the City Baths pool, you have to break the ice to get in
As on the canal, the Garston angler had to break the ice to fish Eskimo-style with a six metre pole and sweet-corn to catch five small carp.
Pick up a Frendz Pak and uncover the nitty gritty of your oldest palz or break the ice with a brand-new bud.