drop a dime

Slang Dictionary

drop a dime definition


  1. tv.
    to inform the police of criminal activity. (Underworld. See explanation at dime-dropper.) : No, almost anybody will drop a dime these days.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

drop a dime

Inform on or betray someone, as in No one can cheat in this classsomeone's bound to drop a dime and tell the teacher. This expression, alluding to the ten-cent coin long used for making a telephone call, originated as underworld slang for phoning the police to inform on a criminal and occasionally is extended to any kind of betrayal. [1960s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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