Rubicon

Rubicon

[roo-bi-kon]
noun
1.
a river in N Italy flowing E into the Adriatic. 15 miles (24 km) long: in crossing this ancient boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy, to march against Pompey in 49 b.c., Julius Caesar made a major military commitment.
Idioms
2.
cross/pass the Rubicon, to take a decisive, irrevocable step: Our entry into the war made us cross the Rubicon and abandon isolationism forever.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Rubicon (ˈruːbɪkən)
 
n
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 bc, Julius Caesar broke the law that a general might not lead an army out of the province to which he was posted and so committed himself to civil war with the senatorial party
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

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Rubicon
in phrase "to cross (or "pass") the Rubicon "take a decisive step," 1626, in ref. to small stream to the Adriatic on the coast of northern Italy, which in ancient times formed part of the southern boundary of Cisalpine Gaul; crossed by Caesar Jan. 10, 49 B.C.E., when he left his province to attack Pompey.
The name is from L. rubicundus "ruddy," in ref. to the color of the soil on its banks.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Rubicon [(rooh-bi-kon)]

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.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

Rubicon

see cross the rubicon.

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