- 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.
- cross/pass the Rubicon, to take a decisive, irrevocable step: Our entry into the war made us cross the Rubicon and abandon isolationism forever.
Examples from the Web for rubicon
David has previously reviewed Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword, Persian Fire, and Rubicon.Tom Holland's 'Rubicon' Out With a New Cover
April 4, 2013
The first foot has been placed on the south bank of the Rubicon.Phone Hacking: The Scandal that Changed Everything for the British Press
March 18, 2013
Another diplomat chose a different cliche: “We have crossed the Rubicon,” he said.Crossing the Rubicon in Syria
November 11, 2012
This is the last of a four-part series on Tom Holland's Persian Fire and Rubicon.
Tom Holland's Rubicon tells the story of this competition - and how it destroyed the Republic that had incubated it.
He crossed the Rubicon of a door-mat and stood in the unlighted hall.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Caesar led his army into Italy to the borders of the Rubicon.Introductory American History
Henry Eldridge Bourne
It had already crossed the Rubicon and passed over to the Entente.England and Germany
Emile Joseph Dillon
I saw that my fair sweetheart had crossed the Rubicon; the day was won.The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
The antecedent in this instance is not Rubicon, but the entire clause.The Verbalist
Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
- 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
- (sometimes not capital) a point of no return
- 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
- cross the Rubicon or pass the Rubicon to commit oneself irrevocably to some course of action
Word Origin and History for rubicon
in phrase to cross (or pass) the Rubicon "take a decisive step," 1620s, a reference to a 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 Latin rubicundus "ruddy," in reference to the color of the soil on its banks.
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.
Idioms and Phrases with rubicon
see cross the rubicon.