|1.||a stream in N Italy: in ancient times the boundary between Italy and Cisalpine Gaul. By leading his army across it and marching on Rome in 49 |
|2.||(sometimes not capital) a point of no return|
|3.||a penalty in piquet by which the score of a player who fails to reach 100 points in six hands is added to his opponent's|
|4.||cross the Rubicon, pass the Rubicon to commit oneself irrevocably to some course of action|
A river in northern Italy that Julius Caesar crossed with his army, in violation of the orders of the leaders in Rome, who feared his power. A civil war followed, in which Caesar emerged as ruler of Rome. Caesar is supposed to have said, “The die is cast” (referring to a roll of dice), as he crossed the river.
Note: “Crossing the Rubicon” is a general expression for taking a dangerous, decisive, and irreversible step.