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See more synonyms for cube on Thesaurus.com
  1. a solid bounded by six equal squares, the angle between any two adjacent faces being a right angle.
  2. an object, either solid or hollow, having this form or a form approximating it: a cube of cheese; plastic storage cubes.
  3. sugar cube.
  4. flashcube.
  5. Mathematics. the third power of a quantity, expressed as a3 = a·a·a.
  6. Informal. cubic inch, especially as a measure of the displacement of an automotive engine: a new sports car with 350 cubes.
  7. Slang. one of a pair of dice; die.
  8. Slang. a person who is unaware of or unfamiliar with current ideas, opinions, trends, etc.; square.
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verb (used with object), cubed, cub·ing.
  1. to make into a cube or cubes.
  2. to cut into cubes.
  3. Mathematics. to raise to the third power.
  4. to measure the cubic contents of.
  5. to tenderize (a thin cut or slice of meat) by scoring the fibers in a pattern of squares.
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Origin of cube1

1350–1400; Middle English cubus < Latin < Greek kýbos cube, die
Related formscub·er, noun


  1. any of several tropical plants of the legume family that are used in making fish poisons and insecticides.
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Also cu·bé [kyoo-bey] /kyuˈbeɪ/.

Origin of cube2

First recorded in 1920–25; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cube

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Professor Johnson placed the cube gently on the machine's platform.

    Two Timer

    Fredric Brown

  • The square of any such number represents a surface, the cube a solid.



  • Keep your eyes on me, for to look at the cube spells danger!

  • The second cube came back unchanged, except that it was newer, shinier.

    Hall of Mirrors

    Fredric Brown

  • I flicked the switch and opened the door, expecting to find the cube vanished.

    Hall of Mirrors

    Fredric Brown

British Dictionary definitions for cube


  1. a solid having six plane square faces in which the angle between two adjacent sides is a right angle
  2. the product of three equal factors: the cube of 2 is 2 × 2 × 2 (usually written 2³)
  3. something in the form of a cubea bath cube
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  1. to raise (a number or quantity) to the third power
  2. (tr) to measure the cubic contents of
  3. (tr) to make, shape, or cut (something, esp food) into cubes
  4. (tr) US and Canadian to tenderize (meat) by scoring into squares or by pounding with a device which has a surface of metal cubes
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Derived Formscuber, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin cubus die, cube, from Greek kubos


  1. any of various tropical American plants, esp any of the leguminous genus Lonchocarpus, the roots of which yield rotenone
  2. an extract from the roots of these plants: a fish poison and insecticide
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Word Origin

American Spanish cubé, of unknown origin
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 cube


1550s, from Middle French cube (13c.) and directly from Latin cubus, from Greek kybos "a cube, a six-sided die, vertebra," perhaps from PIE root *keu(b)- "to bend, turn." Mathematical sense is from 1550s in English (it also was in the ancient Greek word: the Greeks threw with three dice; the highest possible roll was three sixes).

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1580s in the mathematical sense; 1947 with meaning "cut in cubes," from cube (n.). The Greek verbal derivatives from the noun all referred to dice-throwing and gambling. Related: Cubed; cubing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cube in Science


  1. To multiply a number or a quantity by itself three times; raise to the third power. For example, five cubed is 5 X 5 X 5.
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  1. The product that results when a number or quantity is cubed. For example, the cube of 5 is 125.
  2. A solid having six equal square faces or sides.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.