• synonyms


[doos, dyoos]
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  1. Cards. a card having two pips; a two, or two-spot.
  2. Dice.
    1. the face of a die having two pips.
    2. a cast or point of two.
  3. Tennis. a situation, as a score of 40–40 in a game or 5–5 in a match, in which a player must score two successive points to win the game or two successive games to win the set.
  4. Slang.
    1. a two-dollar bill.
    2. the sum of two dollars.
  1. (especially in games, sports, and gambling) two.

Origin of deuce1

1425–75; late Middle English deus < Anglo-French, Middle French: two < Latin duōs (masculine accusative of duo)


[doos, dyoos]
  1. devil; dickens (used as a mild oath): Where the deuce did they hide it?

Origin of deuce2

First recorded in 1645–55; apparently to be identified with deuce1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for deuce

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I'm in the deuce of a hole, and there's no one I know here besides yourself.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • I can't keep my mind on m' fishing—just wondering what the deuce he's after.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Deuce awoke, looked about him, and yow-yow-yowed in doggish relief.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • At this point Dick and Deuce, who had been paralleling through the woods, joined us.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • It's played the deuce in this family, and will go on doing it.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

British Dictionary definitions for deuce


    1. a playing card or dice with two pips or spots; two
    2. a throw of two in dice
  1. tennis a tied score (in tennis 40-all) that requires one player to gain two successive points to win the game

Word Origin

C15: from Old French deus two, from Latin duos, accusative masculine of duo two


  1. an expression of annoyance or frustration
  1. the deuce (intensifier) used in such phrases as what the deuce, where the deuce, etc

Word Origin

C17: probably special use of deuce 1 (in the sense: lowest throw at dice)
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

Word Origin and History for deuce


late 15c., "the 2 in dice or cards," also "a roll of 2 in dice" (1510s), from Middle French deus (Modern French deux), from Latin duos (nominative duo) "two" (see two).

Became a mild oath by 1710, about 50 years after it was first attested in the sense of "bad luck, the devil, etc.," perhaps because two was the lowest score, and probably by similarity to Latin deus and related words meaning "god." Low German had der daus! in same sense 16c., which perhaps influenced the English form. Deuce coupe is 1940s hot-rodder slang for "souped up two-door car," especially a 1932 Ford. Related: Deuced; deucedly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper