To break the ice


Also found in: Idioms.
References in classic literature ?
But when a week passed and the seat at the desk near the door still remained vacant, and when no allusion was made to the circumstance by any individual of the class--when, on the contrary, I found that all observed a marked silence on the point--I determined, COUTE QUI COUTE, to break the ice of this silly reserve.
One morning, being left alone with him a few minutes in the parlour, I ventured to approach the window-recess-- which his table, chair, and desk consecrated as a kind of study--and I was going to speak, though not very well knowing in what words to frame my inquiry--for it is at all times difficult to break the ice of reserve glassing over such natures as his--when he saved me the trouble by being the first to commence a dialogue.
About ten men mounted the sides of the Nautilus, armed with pickaxes to break the ice around the vessel, which was soon free.
In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is good to break the ice, by some whose words are of less weight, and to reserve the more weighty voice, to come in as by chance, so that he may be asked the question upon the other's speech: as Narcissus did, relating to Claudius the marriage of Messalina and Silius.
As explained by the Palace, it was a joke, a punch line meant to break the ice during a speech.
First Dates C4, 10pm Tonight's diners include nervous Daniel, who brings a jaw-dropping present to break the ice, and Rachel.
"Every game is a chance to break the ice and start winning again."
"I can remember that the canoeists had to break the ice to get their canoes into the water and by the time the demonstration was over they were blue and cold - no wet suits in those days!" Mike Duggan (48-53) "We had a student as PT instructor, reputed to be an Olympic swimming triallist, who used to get us to break the ice with the long sweeping brush.
"Through this gathering, our new members will have great opportunities to break the ice, and our existing members may once again enjoy a great time of networking and fun," organizers said.
We had to break the ice to make the shikaras move,' said Bashir Ahmad Dar, a boatman.
To break the ice Ashley told a joke and asked: "How much does a polar bear weigh?" His date gave it some thought before Ashley replied for her and grinned: "I don't know but it breaks the ice."
He wants to break the ice between Indian readers and mysteries as he thinks thrillers are something people perceive as boring and perplexed.