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1. Lit. stored or preserved on ice or under refrigeration. I have a lot of root beer on ice for the picnic. All the soft drinks are on ice.
2. Fig. [action on someone or something] suspended or left hanging. I was on ice for over a month while the matter was being debated. This matter should be on ice for a while.
1. In reserve or readiness. This idiom often occurs with put, meaning "to place in reserve," as in Let's put that proposal on ice until we have the funds to implement it. This usage alludes to putting things in cold storage for preservation. [Slang; late 1800s]
2. In prison, as in He's been on ice for ten years. This usage may be derived in part from the slang term cooler for "jail." [Slang; c. 1930]
3. With a good chance of success, as in I'm sure she'll win-it's on ice. [Slang; early 1900s]
on ice1 (especially of a plan or proposal) held in reserve for future consideration. 2 (of wine or food) kept chilled by being surrounded by ice. 3 (of an entertainment) performed by skaters.
1 1995 Times Education Supplement In Kent plans for 10 more nursery classes next year are on ice.
mod. in reserve. That’s a great idea, but we’ll have to put it on ice until we can afford to put it into action.
1. Assured of attainment or success: With the extra goal the victory was on ice.
2. In reserve or readiness.
3. Away from public notice or activity.