17 Snow Idioms in English with Meanings and Examples

Are you ready to cozy up and explore the flurry of “Snow Idioms” that sprinkle our everyday language?  Whether it’s “snowed under” with tasks or feeling “as pure as the driven snow,” these chilly idioms add a dash of winter magic to the way we speak. So, pull on your comfiest sweater, grab a warm cup of cocoa, and let’s frolic through the snowy fields of language together. Prepare to have a snowball of a time as we unravel the frosty mysteries behind these “Snow Idioms”!

What are Snow Idioms?

Snow idioms are expressions that use snow or winter-related concepts to convey a particular message or idea, often unrelated to the actual weather. These phrases enrich our language and provide a colorful way to depict various situations, feelings, or events metaphorically. We see them sprinkled into everyday conversations, especially in cultures or regions where snow is a common part of winter experiences.

Here’s a brief breakdown of some common snow idioms:

  • Snowball’s chance in hell: Highly unlikely to happen.
  • Pure as the driven snow: To describe something or someone as being very pure or innocent.
  • Snowed under: Overwhelmed with work or responsibilities.

17 Snow Idioms in English with Meanings and Examples

Snow Idioms with Meaning and Example

Idioms Meanings with Example Sentences
To break the ice To do or say something to relieve tension or get a conversation going in a social setting.

Example: “He told a joke to break the ice at the meeting.”

On thin ice In a precarious situation.

Example: “You’re on thin ice with your boss after that mistake.”

To be snowed in Unable to leave a place due to heavy snowfall.

Example: “We were snowed in for two days during the blizzard.”

The tip of the iceberg A small indication of a much larger problem.

Example: “The corruption charges were just the tip of the iceberg.”

To put something on ice To postpone or halt something temporarily.

Example: “Let’s put that idea on ice until we have more information.”

To get cold feet To become nervous or hesitant about a decision or event.

Example: “She got cold feet before her skydiving jump.”

To give someone the cold shoulder To intentionally ignore or treat someone unfriendly.

Example: “After the argument, he gave her the cold shoulder for a week.”

To be as cold as ice To be unemotional or lack compassion.

Example: “Her response was as cold as ice; it seemed she didn’t care at all.”

To ice the cake To provide something extra or enhance an already positive situation.

Example: “Winning the game was great, but the enthusiastic crowd iced the cake.”

To skate on thin ice To take risks where the danger of negative consequences is great.

Example: “He’s skating on thin ice by not filing his tax return.”

A snowball effect A situation where something small gains significance or size as it progresses.

Example: “The rumor started small but quickly had a snowball effect.”

To freeze someone out To deliberately exclude or ostracize someone from a group or activity.

Example: “They tried to freeze her out of the conversation.”

Common Snow Idioms

Snowed under

This idiom describes being overwhelmed with work or responsibilities, to the point where one feels buried, just like under a heavy snowfall.


  • In the Workplace: When an employee has more tasks than they can handle.

Example: “With the upcoming product launch, the marketing team is completely snowed under.”

  • In Academia: When a student has a large amount of studying or assignments to complete.

Example: “Finals are next week, and I’m snowed under with revision and papers.”

  • In Personal Life: When someone has too many commitments or chores at once.

Example: “Between the kids’ soccer practice and planning the family reunion, I’m just snowed under right now.”

Pure as the driven snow

This idiom is used to describe something or someone that is very pure, innocent, or chaste, often in a way that is beyond reproach.


  • In Describing Character: When someone is known for their innocence or virtuous nature.

Example: “Despite all the scandals in the industry, her reputation remains pure as the driven snow.”

  • In Literature: When an author wants to highlight a character’s innocence.

Example: “The heroine of the novel is described as being pure as the driven snow, untouched by the corruption around her.”

  • In Everyday Speech: To emphasize the absence of guilt or wrongdoing in a person or situation.

Example: “He walked out of the courtroom vindicated, pure as the driven snow.”

A snowball’s chance in hell

This idiom is used to indicate that there is little to no chance of something happening, suggesting that the likelihood is as low as a snowball surviving in extremely hot conditions.


  • In Discussing Probabilities: When assessing the likelihood of an event that seems nearly impossible.

Example: “They say I have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the lottery, but I’m still going to play.”

  • In Attempting Difficult Tasks: When facing a task that seems insurmountable.

Example: “Trying to get that bill passed in the current political climate is like having a snowball’s chance in hell.”

Caught in a snowstorm

This idiom is used to describe being caught in an unexpected or sudden difficult situation, much like being caught in a literal snowstorm.


  • In Personal Challenges: When someone encounters unexpected troubles.

Example: “He felt like he was caught in a snowstorm of paperwork after missing a week of work.”

  • In Events: When an event is overwhelmed by unforeseen complications.

Example: “The festival was caught in a snowstorm of logistical issues that threatened its success.”

To make tracks in the snow

This idiom means to be the first to undertake an action or to lead the way in uncharted territory, much like being the first to leave footprints in fresh snow.

  • In Innovation: When a company is pioneering a new technology or market.

Example: “The tech startup was making tracks in the snow with its groundbreaking software solutions.”

  • Personal Achievements: When an individual sets out to achieve something that hasn’t been done before.

Example: “She was making tracks in the snow by being the first in her family to graduate from college.”

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