Dictionary: I – ICE'LAND-MOSS

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is the ninth letter, and the third vowel of the English Alphabet. We receive it through the Latin and Greek from the Shemitic jod, je, or ye, in Greek ιωτα, whence our English word jot. This vowel in French and in most European languages, has the long fine sound which we express by e in me, or ee in seen, meek. This sound we retain in some foreign words which are naturalized in our language, as in machine, intrigue. But in most English words this long sound is shortened, as in holiness, pity, gift; in which words the sound of i coincides with that of y in hypocrite, and at the end of words, in unaccented syllables, as in holy, glory. It is this short sound of the French and Italian i, which we hear in the pronunciation of been, which we pronounce bin. After l, this letter has sometimes the liquid sound of y, as in million, pronounced milyon. This sound corresponds with that of the Hebrews, as in Joseph, which in Syria is pronounced Yoseph, and with the sound of the German j, as in ja, jahr, that is, ya, yahr. The sound of i long, as in fine, kind, arise, is diphthongal; it begins with a sound approaching than of broad a, but it is not exactly the same, as the organs are not opened to the same extent, and therefore the sound begins a little above that of aw. The sound, if continued, closes with one than nearly approaches to that of e long. This sound can be learned only by the ear. This letter enters into several digraphs, as in fail, field seize, feign, vain, friend; and with o in oil, join, coin, it helps to form a proper diphthong. No English word ends with i, but when the sound of the letter occurs at the end of a word, it is expressed by y; alkali is an exception. As a numeral I signifies one, and stands for as many units as it is repeated in times, as II, two, III, three, &c. When it stands before V or X, it subtracts itself, and the numerals denote one less than the V or the X. Thus IV expresses four, one less than V, five; IX stands for nine, one less than X, ten. But when it is placed after V or X, it denotes the addition of an unit, or as many units as the letter is repeated in times. Thus VI is five and one, or six, and XI is ten and one, or eleven; VIII stands for five and three, or eight, &c. Among the ancient Romans, IƆ stood for 500; CIƆ, for 1000; IƆƆ, for 5000; CCIƆƆ, for 10,000; IƆƆƆ, for 50,000; and; CCCIƆƆƆ for 100,000.

I, [particle.]

formerly prefixed to some English words, as in ibuilt, is a contraction of the Saxon prefix ge; and more generally this was written y.

I, pron. [Sax. ic; Goth. and D. ik; G. ich; Sw. jag; Dan. jeg; Gr. εγω; L. ego; Port. eu; Sp. yo; It. io; Fr. je; Sans. agam. In Armoric me is the nominative; so W. mi, Fr. moi, Hindoo, me. Either ego is contracted from mego, or I and me are from different roots. It is certain that me is contracted from meg or mig. See Me.]

The pronoun of the first person; the word which expresses one's self, or that by which a speaker or writer denotes himself. It is only the nominative case of the pronoun; in the other cases we use me. I am attached to study; study delights me. We often hear in popular language the phrase it is me, which is now considered to be ungrammatical, for it is I. But the phrase may have come down to us from the use of the Welsh mi, or from the French use of the phrase c'est moi. In the plural we use we, and us, which appear to be words radically distinct from I. Johnson observes that Shakspeare uses I for ay or yes. In this he is not followed, and the use is incorrect.

I-AM'BIC, n. [Fr. iambique; L. iambicus; Gr. ιαμβικος.]

Pertaining to the iambus, a poetic foot consisting of two syllables, a short one followed by a long one.

I-AM'BIC, or I-AM'BUS, n. [L. iambus; Gr. ιαμβος.]

In poetry, a foot consisting of two syllables, the first short and the last long, as in delight. The following line consists wholly of iambic feet. He scorns | the force | that dares | his fu | ry stay.

I-AM'BICS, n. [plur.]

Verses composed of short and long syllables alternately. Anciently, certain songs or satires, supposed to have given birth to ancient comedy.

I'BEX, n. [L.]

A species of Capra or goat, inhabiting the Alps, Pyrenees, Appenines, etc. The male is red-brown in summer, and gray-brown in winter. The female is earthy-brown and ashy. The young is gray. The horns of the male are flat, with two longitudinal ridges at the sides, crossed by numerous transverse knots. The horns of the female are short, more erect, with three or four knots in front. The Ægagrus, or wild goat of the mountains of Persia, appears to be the stock of the tame goat. The Ibex is a distinct species. Cuvier.

IB'ID-EM, [L.]

In the same place.

I'BIS, n. [Gr. and L.]

A genus of grallatory birds, one of whose most remarkable species is the Ibis religiosa of Cuvier. This is found throughout Africa. It was reared in the temples of ancient Egypt, with a degree of respect bordering on adoration. Ibis rubra, another species, is found in all the hot parts of America.

I-CA'RI-AN, a. [from Icarus, the son of Dædalus, who fled on wings to escape the resentment of Minos, but his flight being too high was fatal to him, as the sun melted the wax that cemented his wings.]

Adventurous in flight; soaring too high for safety, like Icarus.

ICE, n. [Sax. is, isa; G. eis; D. ys; Dan. iis; Sw. and Ice. is; Ir. cuise. The true orthography would be ise. The primary sense is doubtless to set, to fix, to congeal or harden. It may be allied to the G. eisen, iron; perhaps also to L. os, a bone.]

  1. Water or other fluid congealed, or in a solid state; a solid, transparent, brittle substance, formed by the congelation of a fluid, by means of the abstraction of the heat necessary to preserve its fluidity, or to use common language, congealed by cold.
  2. Concreted sugar. To break the ice, is to make the first opening to any attempt; to remove the first obstructions or difficulties; to open the way. Shak. Ice period, a period supposed to have occurred after the tertiary formations were deposited, in which, at least, the frigid and temperate zones were covered with a coat of ice.

ICE, v.t.

  1. To cover with ice; to convert into ice. Fletcher.
  2. To cover with concreted sugar; to frost. Puller.
  3. To chill; to freeze.

ICE'BERG, n. [ice and G. berg, a hill.]

A hill or mountain of ice, or a vast body of ice accumulated in valleys in high northern latitudes, or floating on the ocean. This term is applied to such elevated masses as exist in the valleys of the frigid zones; to those which are found on the surface of fixed ice; and to ice of great thickness and highth in a floating state. These lofty floating masses are sometimes detached from the icebergs on shore, and sometimes formed at a distance from any land. They are found in both the frigid zones, and are sometimes carried toward the equator as low as 40°. Ed. Encyc.


A bird of Greenland.


A name given by seamen to a bright appearance near the horizon, occasioned by the ice, and observed before the ice itself is seen. Encyc.


A strong boat, commonly propelled by steam, used to break a passage through ice.


In seamen's language, totally surrounded with ice, so as to be incapable of advancing. Mar. Did.


  1. Composed of ice.
  2. Loaded with ice. Gray.


Falls composed of ice. Coleridge.


Glazed or incrusted with ice. Coleridge.

ICE'HOUSE, n. [ice and house.]

A repository for the preservation of ice during warm weather; a pit with a drain for conveying off the water of the ice when dissolved, and usually covered with a roof.

ICE'ISLE, n. [iceile; ice and isle.]

A vast body of floating ice, such as is often seen in the Atlantic, off the banks of Newfoundland. J. Barlow. When flat and extending beyond the reach of sight, it is called field ice; when smaller, but of very large dimensions, it is called a floe; when lofty, an iceberg. There are numerous other terms for the different appearances of floating ice. Ed. Encyc.


A native of Iceland.


Pertaining to Iceland; and as noun, the language of the Icelanders. Iceland spar, calcarious spar, in laminated masses, easily divisible into rhombs, perfectly similar to the primitive rhomb. Cleaveland.


A common lichen found in mountainous districts of Europe. It is a tonic and nutritive.