money in the form of coins or banknotes, especially that issued by a government.
money or an equivalent, as a check, paid at the time of making a purchase.

verb (used with object)

to give or obtain cash for (a check, money order, etc.).
  1. to win (a trick) by leading an assured winner.
  2. to lead (an assured winner) in order to win a trick: He cashed his ace and led the queen.

Verb Phrases

cash in,
  1. to turn in and get cash for (one's chips), as in a gambling casino.
  2. to end or withdraw from a business agreement; convert one's assets into cash.
  3. die: After her parents cashed in, she lived with her grandmother.
cash in on, to profit from; use to one's advantage: swindlers who cash in on the credulity of the public.


    cash in one's chips, Slang. to die.

Origin of cash

First recorded in 1590–1600; apparently back formation from cashier1
Related formscash·a·ble, adjectivecash·a·bil·i·ty, nouncash·a·ble·ness, nounun·cashed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cash in one's chips

die, expire, succumb, perish, croak, decease, demise, depart, drop, farm

British Dictionary definitions for cash in one's chips




banknotes and coins, esp in hand or readily available; money or ready money
immediate payment, in full or part, for goods or services (esp in the phrase cash down)
(modifier) of, for, or paid by casha cash transaction
the cash Canadian a checkout counter


(tr) to obtain or pay ready money forto cash a cheque
See also cash in, cash up
Derived Formscashable, adjective

Word Origin for cash

C16: from Old Italian cassa money box, from Latin capsa case ²



noun plural cash

any of various Chinese, Indonesian, or Indian coins of low value

Word Origin for cash

C16: from Portuguese caixa, from Tamil kāsu, from Sanskrit karsa weight of gold or silver



Johnny. 1932–2003, US country-and-western singer, guitarist, and songwriter. His recordings include the hits "I Walk the Line" (1956), "Ring of Fire" (1963), "A Boy named Sue" (1969), and the American Recordings series of albums (1994–2003)
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 cash in one's chips



"to convert to cash" (as a check, etc.), 1811, from cash (n.). Related: Cashed; cashing.



1590s, "money box;" also "money in hand, coin," from Middle French caisse "money box" (16c.), from Provençal caissa or Italian cassa, from Latin capsa "box" (see case (n.2)); originally the money box, but the secondary sense of the money in it became sole meaning 18c. Cash crop is attested from 1831; cash flow from 1954; the mechanical cash register from 1878.

Like many financial terms in English (bankrupt, etc.), ultimately from Italian. Not related to (but influencing the form of) the colonial British cash "Indian monetary system, Chinese coin, etc.," which is from Tamil kasu, Sanskrit karsha, Sinhalese kasi.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cash in one's chips in Culture

cash in one's chips

An expression referring to gambling, meaning to quit: “Because his argument wasn't convincing the committee, Tony decided to cash in his chips and go home.” Also, a euphemism for dying.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with cash in one's chips


In addition to the idioms beginning with cash

  • cash cow
  • cash in
  • cash on the barrelhead

also see:

  • cold cash
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.