put (something) on ice

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put (something) on ice

1. Literally, to put something in a cold place to preserve it, as of food or drink. If you don't put that shrimp on ice, we won't be able to eat it later. You made sure to put the champagne on ice, right?
2. To postpone or delay acting on or dealing with something. We've had to put the sale on ice while we figure out why the website keeps crashing. Do you mind if we put date night on ice for a few weeks until we get done with this project at work?
See also: ice, on, put
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put someone or something on ice

1. Lit. to put a body part or corpse on ice or under refrigeration to preserve it; to put a foodstuff on ice or under refrigeration to cool it. The surgeon transplanted a heart that had been put on ice for two hours. Please put the soda pop on ice.
2. Fig. to postpone acting on someone or something. I know he keeps pestering you for an answer, but we'll just have to put him on ice until we have more facts to go on. Let's put this project on ice till we find out how well it's financed.
See also: ice, on, put
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

put something on ice

COMMON If you put something such as a plan or project on ice, you stop it happening for a period of time. Further high-level meetings have been put on ice. Plans have been put on ice for a meeting in London of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Note: If a plan or project is on ice, no action is taken to put it into operation. A further cut in interest rates to 6% is now likely to stay on ice till next year. Note: This expression refers to the use of ice to preserve food and prevent it from decaying.
See also: ice, on, put, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

put something on ˈice

decide to take no action on something for a period of time; postpone something: They have put the plans for the new hospital on ice because of the economic situation.My plans for going to the USA are on ice for the moment.
See also: ice, on, put, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put on hold/ice/the back burner, to

To postpone, delay, keep in reserve. The oldest of these nearly synonymous terms is to put something on ice, the transfer from food storage (on ice blocks) to anything kept in reserve occurring in the late nineteenth century. Chefs put food that is either finished or cooks more quickly than the rest of a meal on a back burner of the range. By about 1930, this term was transferred to temporarily shelving any item or project or plan, originally in the United States, and came into general use about thirty years later. To put on hold also dates from the mid-twentieth century. It began to be used for the temporary interruption or suspension of a space launch and/or a telephone conversation. It was commonplace in both activities by about 1960 and was rapidly transferred to other kinds of delay, although its literal application—interrupting a telephone connection to wait for its resumption—is still current, along with the irritations generated by call waiting. See also your call is important.
See also: back, hold, ice, on, put, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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