What is "break the ice"? Does it mean literally breaking the ice?
This is a bit of a metaphorical expression. You can imagine "breaking the ice" to mean doing or saying something to make a new situation less awkward, like games played at beginning of a new school year, or conversation starters for work gatherings. Think of it as an activity for "breaking" or the tension in a room and making it more friendly. Ex: We're going to play some icebreaker games. Ex: John made a funny joke to break the ice.