Word of the Day


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someone who ice-skates, especially someone who does it as a sport

Origin and usage

The word ice-skater comes from the Proto-Germanic word ‘is’ meaning ‘ice’ and the Old North French word ‘escache’ meaning ‘stilt or trestle’. The word first appeared in England sometime in the 1660s.


Ice-skater is a noun that refers to a person who ice-skates, using shoes or boots specially made with long, thin blades at the bottom which help the wearer glide across ice. While many people enjoy ice-skating, usually the term ice-skater is reserved for people who are involved in the sport competitively, meaning they enter contests to demonstrate their skill.

An ice-skater who wishes to compete must spend hours and hours each week training. Competitive ice-skaters don’t simply glide along the ice. They learn a number of complex movements like spins, jumps and even flips. It can sometimes take years for an ice-skater to master a difficult trick.

Skating is a popular sport in the Winter Olympics for both men and women, and some world-famous Olympic ice-skaters include Sonja Henie, Dick Button, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, Viktor Petrenko, Katarina Witt, Oksana Baiul, Scott Hamilton and Evgeni Plushenko.

Many ice-skaters perform alone, but pairs skating is also a popular sport in which two ice-skaters, typically a man and a woman, perform a choreographed routine together.


“Initially, I wanted to be an ice-skater, but then when I was 13 I saw Bye, Bye Birdie, and that was it – I wanted to be on Broadway.”
(Liza Minnelli)

“I used to make up stuff in my bio all the time, that I used to be a professional ice-skater and stuff like that. I found it so inspirational. Why not make myself cooler than I am?”
(Stephen Colbert)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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