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[dahys] /daɪs/
plural noun, singular die.
small cubes of plastic, ivory, bone, or wood, marked on each side with one to six spots, usually used in pairs in games of chance or in gambling.
any of various games, especially gambling games, played by shaking and throwing from two to six dice or poker dice onto a flat surface.
Compare craps.
any small cubes.
Auto Racing. a jockeying for lead position between two or more drivers in which tactics are used to pass or keep from being passed.
verb (used with object), diced, dicing.
to cut into small cubes.
to decorate with cubelike figures.
to lose by gambling with dice (often followed by away).
verb (used without object), diced, dicing.
to play at dice.
to cause or bring about by gambling with dice.
Auto Racing. to duel with another car or cars in a dice.
no dice, Informal. of no use or help; ineffective.
Origin of dice
1300-50; Middle English dees, dis, dyce (singular and plural), dyces (plural) < Old French de(i)z, dés (plural); see die2
Related forms
dicer, noun
Can be confused
dice, die, dye. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for no dice


plural noun
cubes of wood, plastic, etc, each of whose sides has a different number of spots (1 to 6), used in games of chance and in gambling to give random numbers
(functioning as sing) Also called die. one of these cubes
small cubes as of vegetables, chopped meat, etc
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) no dice, an expression of refusal or rejection
to cut (food, etc) into small cubes
(intransitive) to gamble with or play at a game involving dice
(intransitive) to take a chance or risk (esp in the phrase dice with death)
(transitive) (Austral, informal) to abandon or reject
(transitive) to decorate or mark with dicelike shapes
Derived Forms
dicer, noun
Word Origin
C14: plural of die²
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
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Word Origin and History for no dice



early 14c., des, dys, plural of dy (see die (n.)), altered 14c. to dyse, dyce, and 15c. to dice. "As in pence, the plural s retains its original breath sound, probably because these words were not felt as ordinary plurals, but as collective words" [OED]. Sometimes used as singular 1400-1700.


"to cut into cubes," late 14c., from dice (n.). Meaning "to play at dice" is from early 15c. Related: Diced; dicing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for no dice

no dice


Worthless; crummy: a little no-dice paper called the Rome American


No; absolutely not; no sale, no soap, no way: A Nuevo Laredo judge said no dice/ Nice, but no dice (1931+)

[fr the call of a crapshooter that the roll just made is not valid]



To jockey for position in a race: I had no really sharp feeling about dicing with Parnelli

Related Terms

load the dice, no dice

[1950s+ Car racing; fr the notion of taking risks]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for no dice


data integration and collection environment
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with no dice

no dice

no go
no soap
. No, certainly not; also, impossible. For example,
Anthony wanted to borrow my new coat, but Mom said no dice
, or
We tried to rent the church for the wedding, but it's no go for the date you picked
, or
Jim asked Dad to help pay for the repairs, but Dad said no soap
. All of these slangy expressions indicate refusal or an unsuccessful attempt.
No dice
, from the 1920s, alludes to an unlucky throw in gambling;
no go
, alluding to lack of progress, dates from about 1820; and
no soap
dates from about 1920 and possibly alludes to the phrase
it won't wash
, meaning “it won't find acceptance.” Also see
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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