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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[dahy] /daɪ/
noun, plural dies for 1, 2, 4, dice for 3.
  1. any of various devices for cutting or forming material in a press or a stamping or forging machine.
  2. a hollow device of steel, often composed of several pieces to be fitted into a stock, for cutting the threads of bolts or the like.
  3. one of the separate pieces of such a device.
  4. a steel block or plate with small conical holes through which wire, plastic rods, etc., are drawn.
an engraved stamp for impressing a design upon some softer material, as in coining money.
singular of dice.
Architecture. dado (def 1).
verb (used with object), died, dieing.
to impress, shape, or cut with a die.
the die is cast, the irrevocable decision has been made; fate has taken charge:
The die is cast—I can't turn back.
Origin of die2
1300-50; Middle English de (in early Modern English taking the vowel of the plural form dice) < Old French de(i), presumbly < Latin datum given (neuter past participle of dare to give), perhaps in the derivative sense “put, placed,” hence “played, cast” Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for the-die-is-cast


verb (mainly intransitive) dies, dying, died
(of an organism or its cells, organs, etc) to cease all biological activity permanently: she died of pneumonia
(of something inanimate) to cease to exist; come to an end: the memory of her will never die
often foll by away, down, or out. to lose strength, power, or energy, esp by degrees
often foll by away or down. to become calm or quiet; subside: the noise slowly died down
to stop functioning: the engine died
to languish or pine, as with love, longing, etc
(usually foll by of) (informal) to be nearly overcome (with laughter, boredom, etc)
(theol) to lack spiritual life within the soul, thus separating it from God and leading to eternal punishment
(transitive) to undergo or suffer (a death of a specified kind) (esp in phrases such as die a saintly death)
(foll by to) to become indifferent or apathetic (to): to die to the world
(informal) never say die, never give up
die hard, to cease to exist after resistance or a struggle: old habits die hard
die in harness, to die while still working or active, prior to retirement
be dying, foll by for or an infinitive. to be eager or desperate (for something or to do something): I'm dying to see the new house
(informal) to die for, highly desirable: a salary to die for
See also dieback, die down, die out
Usage note
It was formerly considered incorrect to use the preposition from after die, but of and from are now both acceptable: he died of/from his injuries
Word Origin
Old English dīegan, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse deyja, Old High German touwen


  1. a shaped block of metal or other hard material used to cut or form metal in a drop forge, press, or similar device
  2. a tool of metal, silicon carbide, or other hard material with a conical hole through which wires, rods, or tubes are drawn to reduce their diameter
an internally-threaded tool for cutting external threads Compare tap2 (sense 6)
a casting mould giving accurate dimensions and a good surface to the object cast See also die-cast
(architect) the dado of a pedestal, usually cubic
another name for dice (sense 2)
as straight as a die, perfectly honest
the die is cast, the decision that commits a person irrevocably to an action has been taken
Word Origin
C13 dee, from Old French de, perhaps from Vulgar Latin datum (unattested) a piece in games, noun use of past participle of Latin dare to play
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 the-die-is-cast



mid-12c., possibly from Old Danish døja or Old Norse deyja "to die, pass away," both from Proto-Germanic *dawjanan (cf. Old Frisian deja "to kill," Old Saxon doian, Old High German touwen, Gothic diwans "mortal"), from PIE root *dheu- (3) "to pass away, become senseless" (cf. Old Irish dith "end, death," Old Church Slavonic daviti, Russian davit' "to choke, suffer").

It has been speculated that Old English had *diegan, from the same source, but it is not in any of the surviving texts and the preferred words were steorfan (see starve), sweltan (see swelter), wesan dead, also forðgan and other euphemisms.

Languages usually don't borrow words from abroad for central life experiences, but "die" words are an exception, because they are often hidden or changed euphemistically out of superstitious dread. A Dutch euphemism translates as "to give the pipe to Maarten." Regularly spelled dege through 15c., and still pronounced "dee" by some in Lancashire and Scotland. Used figuratively (of sounds, etc.) from 1580s. Related: Died; dies.


early 14c. (as a plural, late 14c. as a singular), from Old French de "die, dice," of uncertain origin. Common Romanic (cf. Spanish, Portuguese, Italian dado, Provençal dat, Catalan dau), perhaps from Latin datum "given," past participle of dare (see date (n.1)), which, in addition to "give," had a secondary sense of "to play" (as a chess piece); or else from "what is given" (by chance or Fortune). Sense of "stamping block or tool" first recorded 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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the-die-is-cast in Medicine

die (dī)
v. died, dy·ing (dī'ĭng), dies

  1. To cease living; become dead; expire.

  2. To cease existing, especially by degrees; fade.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for the-die-is-cast



To desire very strongly: She was dying to become Miss Pancake (1591+)


  1. To laugh uncontrollably: When he puts a lampshade on his head you could die (1596+)
  2. To be left on base at the end of an inning (1908+ Baseball)

Related Terms

cross my heart

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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Idioms and Phrases with the-die-is-cast
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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