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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

dice

[dahys] /daɪs/
plural noun, singular die.
1.
small cubes of plastic, ivory, bone, or wood, marked on each side with one to six spots, usually used in pairs in games of chance or in gambling.
3.
any of various games, especially gambling games, played by shaking and throwing from two to six dice or poker dice onto a flat surface.
Compare craps.
4.
any small cubes.
5.
Auto Racing. a jockeying for lead position between two or more drivers in which tactics are used to pass or keep from being passed.
verb (used with object), diced, dicing.
6.
to cut into small cubes.
7.
to decorate with cubelike figures.
8.
to lose by gambling with dice (often followed by away).
verb (used without object), diced, dicing.
9.
to play at dice.
10.
to cause or bring about by gambling with dice.
11.
Auto Racing. to duel with another car or cars in a dice.
Idioms
12.
no dice, Informal. of no use or help; ineffective.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English dees, dis, dyce (singular and plural), dyces (plural) < Old French de(i)z, dés (plural); see die2
Related forms
dicer, noun
Can be confused
dice, die, dye.

die2

[dahy] /daɪ/
noun, plural dies for 1, 2, 4, dice for 3.
1.
Machinery.
  1. any of various devices for cutting or forming material in a press or a stamping or forging machine.
  2. a hollow device of steel, often composed of several pieces to be fitted into a stock, for cutting the threads of bolts or the like.
  3. one of the separate pieces of such a device.
  4. a steel block or plate with small conical holes through which wire, plastic rods, etc., are drawn.
2.
an engraved stamp for impressing a design upon some softer material, as in coining money.
3.
singular of dice.
4.
Architecture, dado (def 1).
verb (used with object), died, dieing.
5.
to impress, shape, or cut with a die.
Idioms
6.
the die is cast, the irrevocable decision has been made; fate has taken charge:
The die is cast—I can't turn back.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English de (in early Modern English taking the vowel of the plural form dice) < Old French de(i), presumbly < Latin datum given (neuter past participle of dare to give), perhaps in the derivative sense “put, placed,” hence “played, cast”
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dice
  • dice chess the pieces a player is able to move are determined by rolling a pair of dice.
  • He was also known to have been an avid gambler and dice player.
  • Combat is handled by comparing dice rolls between a character and his opponent.
  • The players then alternate turns, rolling two dice at the beginning of each turn.
  • The dealer rotates the cage end over end, with the dice landing on the bottom.
  • There is one possible outcome, where all three dice will match.
British Dictionary definitions for dice

dice

/daɪs/
plural noun
1.
cubes of wood, plastic, etc, each of whose sides has a different number of spots (1 to 6), used in games of chance and in gambling to give random numbers
2.
(functioning as sing) Also called die. one of these cubes
3.
small cubes as of vegetables, chopped meat, etc
4.
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) no dice, an expression of refusal or rejection
verb
5.
to cut (food, etc) into small cubes
6.
(intransitive) to gamble with or play at a game involving dice
7.
(intransitive) to take a chance or risk (esp in the phrase dice with death)
8.
(transitive) (Austral, informal) to abandon or reject
9.
(transitive) to decorate or mark with dicelike shapes
Derived Forms
dicer, noun
Word Origin
C14: plural of die²

die1

/daɪ/
verb (mainly intransitive) dies, dying, died
1.
(of an organism or its cells, organs, etc) to cease all biological activity permanently: she died of pneumonia
2.
(of something inanimate) to cease to exist; come to an end: the memory of her will never die
3.
often foll by away, down, or out. to lose strength, power, or energy, esp by degrees
4.
often foll by away or down. to become calm or quiet; subside: the noise slowly died down
5.
to stop functioning: the engine died
6.
to languish or pine, as with love, longing, etc
7.
(usually foll by of) (informal) to be nearly overcome (with laughter, boredom, etc)
8.
(theol) to lack spiritual life within the soul, thus separating it from God and leading to eternal punishment
9.
(transitive) to undergo or suffer (a death of a specified kind) (esp in phrases such as die a saintly death)
10.
(foll by to) to become indifferent or apathetic (to): to die to the world
11.
(informal) never say die, never give up
12.
die hard, to cease to exist after resistance or a struggle: old habits die hard
13.
die in harness, to die while still working or active, prior to retirement
14.
be dying, foll by for or an infinitive. to be eager or desperate (for something or to do something): I'm dying to see the new house
15.
(informal) to die for, highly desirable: a salary to die for
See also dieback, die down, die out
Usage note
It was formerly considered incorrect to use the preposition from after die, but of and from are now both acceptable: he died of/from his injuries
Word Origin
Old English dīegan, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse deyja, Old High German touwen

die2

/daɪ/
noun
1.
  1. a shaped block of metal or other hard material used to cut or form metal in a drop forge, press, or similar device
  2. a tool of metal, silicon carbide, or other hard material with a conical hole through which wires, rods, or tubes are drawn to reduce their diameter
2.
an internally-threaded tool for cutting external threads Compare tap2 (sense 6)
3.
a casting mould giving accurate dimensions and a good surface to the object cast See also die-cast
4.
(architect) the dado of a pedestal, usually cubic
5.
another name for dice (sense 2)
6.
as straight as a die, perfectly honest
7.
the die is cast, the decision that commits a person irrevocably to an action has been taken
Word Origin
C13 dee, from Old French de, perhaps from Vulgar Latin datum (unattested) a piece in games, noun use of past participle of Latin dare to play
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dice
n.

early 14c., des, dys, plural of dy (see die (n.)), altered 14c. to dyse, dyce, and 15c. to dice. "As in pence, the plural s retains its original breath sound, probably because these words were not felt as ordinary plurals, but as collective words" [OED]. Sometimes used as singular 1400-1700.

v.

"to cut into cubes," late 14c., from dice (n.). Meaning "to play at dice" is from early 15c. Related: Diced; dicing.

die

v.

mid-12c., possibly from Old Danish døja or Old Norse deyja "to die, pass away," both from Proto-Germanic *dawjanan (cf. Old Frisian deja "to kill," Old Saxon doian, Old High German touwen, Gothic diwans "mortal"), from PIE root *dheu- (3) "to pass away, become senseless" (cf. Old Irish dith "end, death," Old Church Slavonic daviti, Russian davit' "to choke, suffer").

It has been speculated that Old English had *diegan, from the same source, but it is not in any of the surviving texts and the preferred words were steorfan (see starve), sweltan (see swelter), wesan dead, also forðgan and other euphemisms.

Languages usually don't borrow words from abroad for central life experiences, but "die" words are an exception, because they are often hidden or changed euphemistically out of superstitious dread. A Dutch euphemism translates as "to give the pipe to Maarten." Regularly spelled dege through 15c., and still pronounced "dee" by some in Lancashire and Scotland. Used figuratively (of sounds, etc.) from 1580s. Related: Died; dies.

n.

early 14c. (as a plural, late 14c. as a singular), from Old French de "die, dice," of uncertain origin. Common Romanic (cf. Spanish, Portuguese, Italian dado, Provençal dat, Catalan dau), perhaps from Latin datum "given," past participle of dare (see date (n.1)), which, in addition to "give," had a secondary sense of "to play" (as a chess piece); or else from "what is given" (by chance or Fortune). Sense of "stamping block or tool" first recorded 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dice in Medicine

die (dī)
v. died, dy·ing (dī'ĭng), dies

  1. To cease living; become dead; expire.

  2. To cease existing, especially by degrees; fade.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for dice

dice

verb

To jockey for position in a race: I had no really sharp feeling about dicing with Parnelli

Related Terms

load the dice, no dice

[1950s+ Car racing; fr the notion of taking risks]


die

noun

To desire very strongly: She was dying to become Miss Pancake (1591+)

verb
  1. To laugh uncontrollably: When he puts a lampshade on his head you could die (1596+)
  2. To be left on base at the end of an inning (1908+ Baseball)
Related Terms

cross my heart


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for dice

DICE

data integration and collection environment
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with dice
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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7
8
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