a cupronickel-clad coin of the U.S. and Canada, the 10th part of a dollar, equal to 10 cents.
ten dollars.
a 10-year prison sentence.
a dime a dozen, Informal. so abundant that the value has decreased; readily available.

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French di(s)me < Latin decima tenth part, tithe, noun use of feminine of decimus tenth, derivative of decem ten

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World English Dictionary
dime (daɪm)
1.  a coin of the US and Canada, worth one tenth of a dollar or ten cents
2.  a dime a dozen very cheap or common
[C14: from Old French disme, from Latin decimus tenth, from decem ten]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

chosen 1786 as name for U.S. 10 cent coin, from dime "a tenth, tithe" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. disme, from L. decima (pars) "tenth (part)," from decem "ten" (see ten). The verb meaning "to inform" (on someone) is 1960s, from the then-cost of a pay phone call. A dime a dozen "almost
worthless" first recorded 1930. Phrase stop on a dime attested by 1954 (a dime being the physically smallest unit of U.S. currency).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with dime, also see drop a dime; get off the dime; not worth a dime on a dime.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
No point in drying them, as dried chickpeas are a dime a dozen.
Their idea of engineering is making something for a dime that any fool can make
  for a dollar, and having fun doing it.
Otherwise he is a hollow puppet whether he is a millionaire or has scarcely a
  dime to bless himself with.
What is more, they are travelling on their own dime, hoping they will be
  reimbursed when the shutdown ends.
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